Late Three Lifts Sacramento State Over Eastern Washington - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Late Three Lifts Sacramento State Over Eastern Washington

Hayley Hodgins led Eastern in scoring with 27 points in the loss. Hayley Hodgins led Eastern in scoring with 27 points in the loss.

by EWU Athletics

Cheney, Wash. - The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team fell 94-91 thanks to a buzzer-beating, miracle three by Sacramento State, on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Eastern drops to 17-9 with the loss and 11-3 in league play, while Sacramento State improves to 10-14 with the win and 7-6 in league play.

The second quarter was a rollercoaster ride of lead changes, with EWU trailing by as much as 13 points halfway through the quarter, and as few as one point near the end of the quarter. Eventually equilibrium was found, as the Eagles kept pace with the relentless offensive attack of CSUS until the end of the half, where they were down 54-49.

Much of the same continued in the second half, as Eastern started the third quarter scoreless for four minutes, until senior Hayley Hodgins stepped ended the drought by converting an and-one layup. Following the layup, she hit a big time three, cutting the 10 point lead the Hornets had, down to only five. But, the most action came in the final quarter.

Down 72-66 at the start of the fourth quarter, EWU started to chip away at the slim Sacramento State lead. The game reached its climax with 4:41 remaining, when sophomore Bethany Montgomery nailed a clutch three, bringing the lead down to only one score, at 81-79. The Eagles answered this apparent call to action with an offensive explosion, taking an 85-81 lead in a matter of only one minute. The game was far from over, however; as Adella Randle-El was determined to keep the game in favor of the Hornets. With 1:40 left she stole a pass and followed up with the layup, tying the game at 85-85. Randle-El continued her heroics hitting two three pointers that would give Sacramento State a 91-89 lead with 32 seconds left. After two Hayley Hodgins free throws tied the game, it all came down to CSUS's final possession. With only two seconds remaining, Maranne Johnson dashed Eastern's hopes, draining a heartbreaking three from NBA range to beat the buzzer and end the game.

Hayley Hodgins led the team in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting, while collecting seven rebounds and three steals. Junior Ashli Payne recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and grabbing 12 rebounds. Sophomore Delaney Hodgins scored 12 points, and nearly recorded the double-double with nine rebounds. She also led the team with five blocks. Junior Tisha Phillips scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, while leading the team with five assists and five steals.

EWU shot 46.8 percent from the field, compared to 40.7 percent shooting from CSUS. The Eagles were 5-of-19 from three, while the Hornets hit 15-of-51 of their threes.

Eastern turned the ball over 23 times, allowing Sacramento State to score 22 points off the miscues. CSUS turned the ball over 18 times, allowing EWU to scored 33 points off the mistakes.

The Eagles grabbed 51 total rebounds, compared to 46 total rebounds by the Hornets. The 20 Eastern offensive boards resulted in 18 second chance points, while Sacramento State scored 17 points from its 22 offensive boards.

"I told our team that they don't need to hang their heads," said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller. "I thought that we played our tails off. The game of basketball sometimes comes down to people making shots at the end, which Sacramento State did. You could see our fatigue there at the end defensively, and we just weren't as sharp as we needed to be on those two late three's by (Adella) Randle-El."

"Sacramento State is a physical team. That's what they do, and you know that coming in. They are good at what they do, and they make you play faster than you're used to and a lot more physical than you're used to. It's not easy to replicate in practice, but I thought our team did a lot of things, especially in the fourth quarter, to put us in a position to win. I'm sad for them because I thought we played hard and did everything but defend them the way we needed to in the last 30 seconds."

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