Eagles can't overcome hot-shooting Bobcats in 72-61 loss - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles can't overcome hot-shooting Bobcats in 72-61 loss

EWU Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. – Junior Delaney Hodgins collected her second-straight double-double on Saturday, but it would not be enough to help the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team overcome a Montana State squad that shot lights out from behind the arc, as the Eagles, 72-61, in Big Sky action.

Only 0.5 percent separated the Bobcats and Eagles in field goal percentage on Saturday, but the difference in the game the 3-point shooting, as Montana State drilled 12 shots from behind the arc, while Eastern managed just six 3-pointers for the afternoon. Hannah Caudill did most of the damage against the Eagles, as she hit seven of her team's shots from three-point land en route to a game-high 23 points.

"Montana State played extremely well and shot the three-ball particularly well today," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "Peyton Ferris is having an amazing year, and when you key in on her, it opens up a lot of perimeter options for them. Give them credit, they knocked shots down, but it feels like we're in a little bit of an offensive funk right now. We've got to work our way out of it, because this is not the time of the year you afford to have that."

Junior Delaney Hodgins, who was coming off an 18-point, 10-rebound on Thursday against Montana, picked up her second-straight double-double with a 10-point, 13-rebound effort. The 13 caroms for Hodgins marks a new season-best, while it was just one board off of her career-best of 14.

Redshirt senior Tisha Phillips recorded her third-straight double-digit scoring outing on Saturday, as the Lapwai, Idaho native posted a team-best 18 points, while the point guard dished out a team-high four assists. Fellow senior Ashli Payne was also in double-figures with 10 points.

Win-Loss Records: With today's loss, Eastern falls to 11-9 overall on the year and 6-3 in Big Sky play. For Montana State, they improve to 15-5 this season and 8-2 in league play.

What It Means: With the loss, Eastern Washington fails to claim third-place in the Big Sky Conference standings. There was only a half game separating Montana State and Eastern for third coming into today's contest.

Key Stats: Three-point shooting proved to be the difference in Saturday's game, as the Eagles were outscored, 36-18, in points from behind the arc. Montana State shot 46.2 percent (12-of-26) against the Eagles, while EWU could only manage a 28.6 percent (6-of-21) effort from deep against the Bobcats.

Turning Point: Sophomore Violet Kapri Morrow pulled the Eagles within a point of Montana State after scoring the opening basket of the third quarter. That would be as close as Eastern would get for the remainder of the game, as MSU went on a 22-4 run from that point to take a game-high 19-point lead with 9:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Top Performers: Junior Delaney Hodgins picked up her second-straight double-double with 10 points and a season-best 13 rebounds.

Redshirt senior Tisha Phillips extended her double-digit scoring streak to three games thanks to an 18-point outing against the Bobcats.

Sophomore Alissa Sealby matched her career-best in points with eight.

Freshman Uriah Howard tallied nine points for the second-straight contest on Saturday. Howard previously scored a career-high nine points in Thursday's win over Montana.

Notables: With today's loss, the all-time series between Eastern Washington and Montana State is tied up at 42-all.

The loss to the Bobcats marks the first time this season Eastern has lost on a Saturday. Prior to today's outcome, the Eagles had been 6-0 on Saturday.

Montana State becomes the first team other than Sacramento State to score a victory at Reese Court in since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Delaney Hodgins' double-double is the 10th of her career, while it is her fourth of the season. The 10-point outing marks her 70th career game with double-digit points, while the 13 rebounds are her 10th career game with double-digit caroms.

What's Next: It's back to the road next week for Eastern Washington, as the Eagles head south to take on Sacramento State and Portland State. EWU opens the trip on Thursday with a 7:05 p.m. PT meeting before taking on the Vikings at 2:05 p.m. PT on Saturday.

For more information on the Eastern Washington women's basketball team, follow @EWUWBB on Twitter and Instagram, or follow EWU Women's Basketball on Facebook.

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