EWU falls to Big Sky-rival Idaho 78-51 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

EWU falls to Big Sky-rival Idaho 78-51

EWU Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – Junior Delaney Hodgins moved into sixth on the Eastern Washington University women's basketball all-time scoring list on Saturday (Feb. 18), but her 14-point effort would not be enough to lift the Eagles to a victory, as they fall at Idaho, 78-51.

Hodgins entered Saturday's game needing just eight points to move past Vanessa Jones (1,290 points) for sixth on the EWU women's basketball all-time scoring list. The Pasco, Washington native would accomplish that feat in just two quarters, as a 3-point field goal gave the forward her 10th point of the game to surpass Jones.

The 14-point performance for Hodgins now gives her 1,297 for her career. She is now 92 points away from fifth on the all-time scoring list, which is currently held by Lexie Nelson (1,388 pts). Today's effort marked the 75th time she has scored 10-or-more points in 90 career games.

Eastern Washington ran into a hot-shooting Vandal team on Saturday, as Idaho drilled 13 3-point field goals to snap a three-game regular season losing streak to the Eagles. UI opened the game up in the third quarter, as they hit five triples in the frame to turn a five-point lead at the half into a 20-point advantage heading into fourth. 

"You have to give Idaho a lot of credit," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "They shot the ball extremely well, which we knew they were capable of doing. They spread us out, and we didn't do a good enough job at defending them (from behind the arc). The momentum they got by hitting those three's (in the third quarter) really got to us mentally. It frustrated us to the point to where we couldn't execute. We played too fast on the offensive end. We just struggled mightily on the road today."

Both squads struggled to get into an offensive rhythm, as neither team shot above 40 percent for the game. Eastern shot 31.7 percent from the field in the game, while the Vandals were at an even 40 percent. The Eagles struggled from the field through the final two quarters of play, as they shot a combined, 27.2 percent from the third and fourth quarters.

Win-Loss Records: With today's result, the Eagles and Vandals now both 14-11 overall on the year and 9-5 in Big Sky play.

What It Means: Today's loss now puts Eastern Washington into a three-way tie in fourth place in the Big Sky standings with Idaho and Idaho State. Fourth place receives the final bye of the Big Sky Tournament. Eastern will take on Idaho State next Saturday in Pocatello.

Turning Point: Junior Delaney Hodgins and redshirt senior Tisha Phillips hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull Eastern Washington within five points at 32-27 with 35 seconds left to play in the second quarter. Idaho would hit a three-pointer right at the buzzer to give them an eight-point lead going into the break.

That would be a sign of things to come from the Vandals, as UI hit five 3-point field goals in the third quarter alone to build a 20-point lead at 58-38 going into the fourth.

Key Stats: Three-point shooting was the difference in Saturday's game, as Idaho hit 13 shots from behind the arc, while Eastern Washington only connected on five shots from deep. Taylor Pierce led the way for the Vandals with seven 3-point field goals en route to a game-high 23-point performance.

Top Performers: Junior Delaney Hodgins was the lone Eagle in double-digits with 14 points. The forward pulled down seven rebounds in the game and hit a team-high two 3-point field goals.

Senior Ashli Payne nearly had a double-double with eight points and eight rebounds.

Notables: Junior Delaney Hodgins passed Vanessa Jones (1989-92) for sixth on Eastern's all-time scoring list on Saturday. Hodgins now has 1,297 points in her career.

Hodgins' 14-point effort marks her 10th-straight game with double-digit points. It is also her 75th career game with 10-or-more points.

Redshirt senior Tisha Phillips' seven-game double-digit scoring streak came to an end on Saturday with a five-point performance.

Sophomore Desiree Harding tied her season-high in points with four. It was the first game she had scored in since Nov. 22 at Utah Valley.

Sophomore Amira Chandler scored a team-best six points off the bench on Saturday. She has now scored in eight-straight appearances for the Eagles.

What's Next: Eastern Washington continues on its three-game Big Sky road trip next Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Weber State. The Eagles knocked off the Wildcats, 99-85, back on Jan. 14 at Reese Court. Tip-off from Ogden, Utah is set for 6 p.m. PT. 

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

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