Eagles claim second straight win, topping Cal Poly 75-72 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles claim second straight win, topping Cal Poly 75-72

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. – A game that saw 24 lead changes and 16 ties ended in favor of the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team on Monday night (Dec. 11). The Eagles claimed their second-straight victory over Cal Poly, topping them by a score of 75-72.
 
EWU had four players in double-figures for the first time this season. Senior Delaney Hodgins led the way with 18, followed closely by Uriah Howard and Violet Kapri Morrow who had 17 apiece. Sophomore Symone Starks rounded out the scoring with 10 after hitting three three-point field goals.
 
"This was good for us, we really needed to get over the hump. We have been working on and emphasizing our offense for a while, so it was really nice to finally see the team and our offensive capabilities that I've thought we've had all year and we finally saw it happen today," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "I love seeing a stat sheet with four players in double figures, that's great for us."
 
As a team, the Eagles shot a season-best 57.8 percent and shot over 50 percent in all four quarters on 26 for 45 shooting. They also hit a season-high nine three pointers and went 14-for-19 from the line.
 
Eastern held a 21-17 lead after one quarter of play thanks to a Starks buzzer beater. After the Mustangs went five-for-five from field goal range, an Alissa Sealby hook shot at the buzzer sent the Eagles into locker room trailing 44-41, but they were shooting over 60 percent from the field.
 
Thirteen of Hodgins' 18 points came in the second half, as she tied the game for the Eagles early in the fourth quarter, and then gave EWU the lead following a three-point field goal.
 
Howard was the hero of the fourth quarter. With the Eagles down 70-72, she would hit a three pointer to tie the game up with 2:01 remaining. After an EWU timeout, Hodgins received the ball and dished it to Howard who was sent to the line and sunk both free throws, giving Eastern a 75-72 advantage with less than a minute remaining.
 
Cal Poly would try and shoot the tying three-pointer, but were unsuccessful. Eastern held them without a field goal for the final two minutes as they sealed the 75-72 victory inside Reese Court.
 
WIN LOSS RECORDS: The victory marks Eastern's second in a row as they move to 4-5 on the season. Cal Poly snaps a three-game win streak and moves to an even 4-4 overall. The Mustangs still lead the all-time series 3-2, but EWU improves to 2-1 all-time against Cal Poly inside Reese Court.
 
TOP PERFORMERS: For the second straight game, Delaney Hodgins and Uriah Howard led the team with double-digit scoring, putting up 18 and 17, respectively. Hodgins also led the team with seven rebounds while Howard had six. Symone Starks had 10 points on the night and led the team with six assists and tied with Hodgins with two steals. Hodgins added three blocks. Violet Kapri Morrow was the other Eagle in double figures, adding 17 on the night on 5-for-10 shooting.
 
KEY STATISTICS: Although the Eagles had 24 turnovers to the Mustang's 17, they outrebounded them 29-27 and shot 57.8 percent on the night while limiting Cal Poly to 45.8 percent. Eastern hit nine three-point field goals, while the Mustangs had five.
 
NOTEABLES: Delaney Hodgins led the team in scoring for the seventh time this season and led the team in rebounds for the fourth time. It was her fifth-straight game totaling double figures and the 85th of her career.
 
Uriah Howard scored in double-figures for the second straight game and third time this season. Symone Starks had a double-digit game for the sixth time in her career, while Violet Kapri Morrow tallied points into double-digits for the fourth time this season and 12th time in her career.
 
SOARING TO THE TOP: After scoring 18 points tonight, Delaney Hodgins now has 1,602 career points to rank third all-time on EWU's all-time career scoring list. The Preseason Big Sky MVP is just 132 points away from moving into sole possession of second place and is 264 away from breaking her older sister Haley Hodgins' all-time record of 1,865 points.
 
MORE FROM COACH SCHULLER: On Morrow and Howard scoring 17 point each: "I like the fact that kids want the ball in their hands. Delaney always wants it, she's been hitting big shots and making big plays her whole career, but Kapri has gotten into that role as well. It was good to see Uriah step up and want the ball and I thought Symone played really well for us. We had a lot of kids off the bench come in and give us quality minutes, it was a great team win and I was pleased."
 
On Uriah Howard in the fourth quarter: "We've wanted her to step into this role, so it's nice to see her doing that. She hit clutch free throws down the stretch for us. She is a good shooter, I know how bad she wants it and I had a lot of faith of her on the line."
 
UP NEXT: Tonight's matchup closes a three-game home stand for the Eagles and marks the last home nonconference game. Eastern Washington heads to Indiana for the Traveler's Invitational on Dec. 17-20. The Eagles open up against hosts Purdue on Dec. 17 and Saint Mary's on Dec. 18. EWU closes out the invitational against Tennessee-Martin on Dec. 20. Big Sky Conference play begins on Dec. 28 against Northern Colorado at Reese Court.

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