EWU women’s basketball snags No. 3 seed as Hodgins makes history

The senior forward scored a career high 37 points against Southern Utah, then topped it off with a BSC single-game record 46 versus NAU two days later


Senior forward Delaney Hodgins uses a screen against Idaho State on Feb. 24. Hodgins set the Big Sky Conference single-game record with 46 points against Northern Arizona on March 2 | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

To say Delaney Hodgins had a productive week would be an understatement.

In the final week of the regular season, the senior forward set her single-game career high in points, not once, but twice. With wins over Southern Utah University and Northern Arizona University on the road, the Eagles wrapped up the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in the Big Sky Conference championship tournament, which tips off on March 5.

Along the way, Hodgins set new BSC records for points in a game (46) and three-pointers in a game without a miss (seven).

Hodgins had already broken her career high twice this season. She scored 30 on Jan. 18 against Northern Arizona, and 31 on Feb. 17 versus Montana State.

The Eagles entered the week in a four-way tie for No. 3 in the BSC. With the top four teams receiving a first-round bye in the BSC championship tournament, EWU needed two wins.

Sophomore Symone Starks, the Eagles’ starting point guard, left the team earlier in the week for “personal reasons,” the EWU Athletic Department told The Easterner. Sophomore guard Uriah Howard replaced Starks in the starting lineup against Southern Utah, and freshman guard Brittany Klaman moved to point guard.

The Eagles struggled to take care of the ball in the first half, committing 11 turnovers. SUU was able to take advantage, and went into the halftime break with the 29–25 lead.

EWU started the second half on a 10–0 run, and they never looked back. Hodgins had 22 points in the half (and 37 for the game) while the Eagles committed only four turnovers. EWU cruised to a 70–49 victory.

“I was pretty pleased with that second half,” EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said. “Defensively, we really worked to be solid in the second half and it showed. What a special game for Delaney. You don’t get to see kids in the zone very often, but we saw it today. I think she made a statement tonight.”

As good as Hodgins was against Southern Utah, she was even better against Northern Arizona. This time, the team was comfortable with its new starting lineup and avoided the slow start they suffered against SUU.

Hodgins scored early and often for the Eagles. Her first field-goal attempt was a three-pointer, which she sunk. It would be the first of seven made three-pointers for Hodgins. She would not miss from behind the arc in the game.

Hodgins had 26 points in the first half, and the Eagles took a 56–31 lead into the break. The game was mostly decided by halftime.

The second half saw Hodgins trading baskets with NAU senior forward Kenna McDavis. McDavis had her career high of 39 points in the loss, but it wasn’t enough to counter Hodgins’ 46 points. EWU won 98–83. Junior guard Kapri Morrow had 23 points for the Eagles, and Howard added 16.

“Delaney is unbelievable,” Schuller said after the game. “She is playing like the league MVP and an All-American. This is a young lady who has worked so hard for four years and all her success is deserved. I feel lucky that I have gotten to be her coach.”

Hodgins finished the season scoring over 30 points in four of her last five games. She certainly made a case to be the MVP, but that honor went to Northern Colorado’s Savannah Smith. Smith won the award, despite finishing below Hodgins in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, three-pointers made, steals and blocked shots. Smith finished ahead of Hodgins in assists.

The Eagles now head to Reno, Nevada for the BSC tournament. With the first-round bye secured, EWU tips off the tournament in the quarterfinals on March 7, at 8 p.m. They will play the winner of the first-round game between Portland State and Northern Arizona. The Eagles swept NAU in the regular season, and split a pair of games against PSU.