Eagles pick up fourth straight victory, topping Southern Utah 58 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles pick up fourth straight victory, topping Southern Utah 58-41

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. – The Eastern Washington women's basketball team ended a crucial three-game home stand with their fourth victory in a row over Southern Utah on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 20). EWU now moves to 10-9 on the season and 5-2 in Big Sky Conference play.
Eastern limited the Thunderbirds to just 25 percent (14-for-56) from the field while shooting 43.8 percent (21-for-48) themselves. Delaney Hodgins led the way with her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Violet Kapri Morrow followed closely with 16 points. Southern Utah and Eastern both rank first and second, respectively, in the Big Sky in steals and they each collected nine on the day.
"Defense is always a point of emphasis for us, we take a lot of pride in guarding whoever it is that we need to guard and being able to adjust to different styles. Our players came in, especially in the first quarter, and we were locked in and ready to defend," said head coach Wendy Schuller, who coached her 500th game at Eastern Washington this afternoon. "I was a little bit disappointed with the start of our second half, we didn't come out with that same fire or intensity, but we got it back rolling again and it was a great defensive effort."
Eastern Washington hit four out of five field goal attempts to open on a 9-1 run, after a 10-0 run over three minutes, they held a 19-3 lead after one quarter.
Alissa Sealby opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run of her own. The two teams would trade baskets after that, each hitting three consecutive field goals. Symone Starks and Brittany Klaman hit back-to-back threes and the Eagles took a 35-17 lead into halftime.
Southern Utah came out and went on a 12-2 run over the first three minutes of the first quarter to cut their deficit to 11 points. A layup by Sparks followed by another three by Klaman sparked an 8-0 Eastern run that gave them their largest lead of the night with 20 points.
Both sides slowed down in the fourth quarter by remaining scoreless for over three minutes each. Despite encountering turnover trouble, EWU outscored the Thunderbirds 9-7 and picked up the 58-41 victory.
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: The Eagles improve to 10-9 on the season and 5-2 in Big Sky play. The Thunderbirds suffer their 15th loss of the season, dropping to 3-15 and 2-5. The all-time series now moves to 10-7 in Eastern's favor and 6-4 at Reese Court.
WHAT IT MEANS: Eastern Washington moved to over .500 for the first time this season and won their fourth straight and 3-0 over their home stand. The Eagles now move into a four-way tie for first place in the Big Sky with Northern Colorado, Weber State and Montana.
TOP PERFORMERS: Delaney Hodgins scored in double figures for the 15th straight game, picking up a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The senior also tied her career-high with six blocks.
Violet Kapri Morrow finished with 16 points for her fifth straight double-digit scoring game. Symone Starks and Brittany Klaman each had three assists while Mariah Cunningham pulled down six boards.
KEY STATISTCS: Eastern Washington limited the Thunderbirds to just 25 percent shooting on the night, including 7.1 percent in the first and fourth quarters. They also outrebounded SUU 44-30 and had seven blocks and 14 assists. Southern Utah's bench (18-7) had more points as well as points off of turnovers (15-10).  
SOARING TO THE TOP: After scoring 17 points tonight, Delaney Hodgins now has 1,811 points which is second on Eastern Washington's all-time career scoring list. She now just needs 55 more points to break her older sister Hayley Hodgins' record of 1,865. The Hodgins' sisters now own the distinction of being the only two Eagles to ever eclipse 1,800 points.
UP NEXT: The Eagles now enter a crucial road swing next week as they head to North Dakota (Jan. 25) and Northern Colorado (Jan. 27). EWU faces both teams for the second time this season – they lost to UNC to open the season but topped North Dakota at home.

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