Career Night by Hodgins Puts EWU Alone on Top of Big Sky - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Career Night by Hodgins Puts EWU Alone on Top of Big Sky

Hayley Hodgins led the team in scoring with a career high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, and 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Hayley Hodgins led the team in scoring with a career high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, and 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

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Cheney, Wash. - With first place in the Big Sky standings on the line, the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team showed out, rolling past visiting Montana State, 81-69, for its sixth straight victory, and an undefeated start in conference play.

Win-Loss Records

Eastern improves to 12-6 with the win and 6-0 in league play, while Montana State drops to 13-5 with the loss and 6-1 in league play.
The Eagles are off to a 6-0 start to Big Sky play for the first time in six seasons. EWU started its conference slate with seven straight wins back in the 2009-10 season.

Turning Point

The Eagles flashed their dominance early, hitting a pair of threes from senior Hayley Hodgins and junior Ashli Payne, and answering any shot the Bobcats made. With EWU shooting the ball well, the offense kept its foot on the gas, and did not sputter, leading to first half shooting  of 60 percent from the field, and 6-of-11 shooting from three point range. The half was capped in the final second by a heavily contested three from Hayley Hodgins to beat the buzzer, solidifying a 44-33 lead that Eastern would not look back on.

Compared to the first half, the third quarter got off to a slow start, but Hayley Hodgins continued to take over the game, scoring nine straight points within two minutes of play. In the fourth quarter, MSU began to scratch at a comeback, bringing the lead down to within 10 points, but with 6:14 left in the game, up 66-57, Hayley Hodgins answered by draining a three pointer. In rapid succession, junior Tisha Phillips followed up the shot with a fast break layup off the steal and assist from sophomore Delaney Hodgins. One more bucket by Hayley Hodgins would end that 30 second, 7-0 run, along with Montana State's hope for the win.

Top Performers

Hayley Hodgins led the team in scoring with a career high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, and 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. She also grabbed four rebounds.

Delany Hodgins scored 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, and 4-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. She also tallied five rebounds, a team leading five assists, and three steals.

Tisha Phillips scored 13 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting from the field, while also tallying five rebounds and four assists.

Key Statistics
Eastern shot 50 percent from the field, and 50 percent from three, while Montana State shot 45.6 percent from the field, and 30 percent from three.

EWU grabbed 38 total rebounds, and 14 offensive, while MSU tallied 30 rebounds and 12 offensive.

The Eagles kept their turnovers down with a total of 12, allowing the Bobcats to score 14 points off the miscues. Montana State turned the ball over 13 times, giving Eastern 10 points off the mistakes.

Quoting Coach Schuller

"Montana State is a really good team. We made a lot of shots, and that helped. We played really, really hard and were bought in to the game plan. I think we're clicking now offensively. When Tisha was out, we were kind of holding stuff together a little bit. We've got her back now and she's getting more and more healthy, and we're kind of clicking on all cylinders. It's fun to coach this team. I told them, 'When you play as hard as we just played, you're going to have great results.'

"The crowd was great, and the band was great. The energy in the building was something we desperately needed. I told the girls, 'Make them come back.' We're playing for positioning in the league, but we're also playing to get folks to come watch us play. I think we've got a special team, and having the fans' support was a great thing for us."

Game Notes

Hayley Hodgins scored a career high 34 points in tonight's game, beating her previous record of 30 points against Wichita State on Nov. 18, 2014.

The Eagles are off to a 6-0 start to Big Sky play for the first time in six seasons. EWU started its conference slate with seven straight wins back in the 2009-10 season.

Hayley Hodgins has now scored in double figures in 34 straight games dating back to last season, and has 81 career games of at least 10 points. She is getting closer to becoming Eastern's all-time NCAA Division I leading scorer, sitting 176 points behind Brenda Souther (1983-87).  With at least 13 games left on the season, Hodgins needs to average 13.5 points per game to break the record.

Up Next

The Eagles host Montana at Reese Court on Saturday, Jan. 23, starting at 2 p.m. PST.

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