Hughes 18 Points Leads Eastern in Big Sky Opener - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hughes 18 Points Leads Eastern in Big Sky Opener

Posted: Updated:
© Picture by EWU Athletics © Picture by EWU Athletics

by Eastern Washington Univ. Athletic

OGDEN, UT - The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team shot a season-high 55.2 percent from the field, 53.3 percent from 3-point land and 94.1 percent from the charity stripe en route to a dominant 88-60 victory over Weber State in the 2012-13 Big Sky season opener Thursday (Dec. 20) in Ogden, Utah.

With the win, Eastern improves to 4-5 on the year and 1-0 to start the Big Sky season. The Wildcats remain winless in the 2012-13 campaign at 0-10 and 0-1 in league play.

Along with earning their ninth-consecutive win over Weber State, and fifth-straight in Ogden, the Eagles are now 10-2 in conference openers under head coach Wendy Schuller.

For the second game in a row, four different players scored in double figures, including juniors Aubrey Ashenfelter and Laura Hughes, who led team with 18 a piece. Ashenfelter hit a career-high four 3-pointers and made 6-of-6 shots from the free throw line, while Hughes made a career-high eight of her 12 attempts in the paint.

"We really had the inside-out game going today," said Schuller. "That's what impressed me the most. I think we are really starting to understand each other's strengths and where to get people the ball. We are definitely growing in that way."

Eastern made the first two baskets of the game, but the Wildcats responded on their home floor, scoring 13 of the next 18 points. The Eags converted on its next four possessions to take a 20-17 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Wildcats managed to keep it within single digits though until the final minutes of the half when EWU went on a 13-4 run to enjoy a 41-28 advantage heading into the locker room.  

"I didn't think early on we were as mentally focused as I'd wanted to be," said Schuller. "We've had 12 days off since our last game, so it took a little while to shake the rust off - and with Christmas break right around the corner, it's always a little tough. But as the game went on, we got better and better and we our found our focus. After the first 10 minutes or so, I felt like we were picking up right where we left off in Boise."

In its final non-conference game on Dec. 7, EWU cruised past Boise State, 74-63, in another hot shooting game.

In the second half in Ogden, Eastern made 20-of-36 attempts from the field and had 13 assists with just one turnover.  The Eagles also forced 11 Wildcat miscues.

"We made some adjustments in the second half, which forced them [Weber State] to rush things," said Schuller. "I also thought we took much better care of the ball, and that enabled us to take a lot more shots."

Eastern led by as many as 32 in the second half. In its last two games, EWU has averaged 81 points, which is nearly 30 points more than it had averaged in the first seven games of the year.

In addition to 18 points from Ashenfelter and Hughes, sophomore Lexie Nelson chipped in 14 and senior Carrie Ojeda added 13.

Sophomore point guard Kylie Huerta had an almost perfect game, as she finished with a career-high eight points on a 3-of-3 effort from the floor, while also converting her one attempt at the free throw line. She also tied her career-high in assists with seven, and had three steals. The only blemish on her stat line was one turnover in her 18 minutes of play.

Junior Chenise Pakootas also contributed seven points, while sophomore Melissa Williams and redshirt-freshman Hayley Hodgins each had four. Williams led the team on the glass for the fourth time this season with six rebounds.

As a team, EWU tallied a season-high 22 assists. Huerta had a game-high seven, while Nelson added six, Ashenfelter three, and three other players had two.

"The assist-to-turnover ratio in this game was pretty impressive, and shows how well we are sharing the ball," said Schuller. "That is a really positive step for us, it says a lot about our team effort."

Eastern will look to carry that momentum into its next conference game on Saturday (Dec. 22) against defending Big Sky regular-season and tournament champion Idaho State. The Eagles have not won at Reed Gym in Pocatello since 2003, but Eastern will enter the contest on a two-game winning streak, and playing its best basketball of the year.

  • College

    • Gonzaga's Jordan Mathews takes alternate route to NBA, New Orleans Pelicans

      Jordan Mathews is walking in the footsteps of former Gonzaga teammate Kyle Wiltjer, following the Houston Rocket's path to the NBA. After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, Mathews drew attention from three NBA teams about possibly playing for their Summer League team and ultimately chose the New Orleans Pelicans.

    • EWU's Jacob Wiley will join the Brooklyn Nets

      In a way, it was a blessing for former Eastern Washington University basketball player Jacob Wiley not to be chosen in the two rounds of the National Basketball Association Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.   But he'll wind up in Brooklyn anyway, as the Nets.

    • Gonzaga's Justin Jacobs & Jake Roberts sign pro baseball contracts

      SPOKANE, Wash.—Two more Gonzaga baseball players realized their dreams of signing a professional contract this week as Justin Jacobs signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers and Jake Roberts came to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jacobs enters the pro ranks coming off a strong senior campaign.

    • WATCH: Gonzaga's Zach Collins' path to the NBA through hard work and sacrifice

      Our Sam Adams got a chance to talk with Gonzaga's Zach Collins after he was selected 10th overall in this year's NBA Draft. Collins talks about how his work ethic brought him to the position he's in and how he plans to use that to help the Portland Trailblazers.

    • WATCH: UW's Markelle Fultz talks about being the No. 1 draft pick

      Our Femi Abebefe got a chance to talk with Washington Huskies' Markelle Fultz about being drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. Fultz was the first-ever Husky taken first overall in the NBA Draft and talks about how he plans to help the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming season.

    • UW becomes 1st school to produce top pick in NBA and WNBA Drafts

      SEATTLE – Following tonight's NBA draft, the University of Washington became the first school to produce the top pick in the NBA and WNBA drafts in the same academic year as Markelle Fultz joined Kelsey Plum as the first overall draft pick.   The duo not only made history as the first tandem of top picks in the WNBA and NBA drafts to come from the same school, but also from the same conference.

    • Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss selected 55th overall by the Utah Jazz

      Former Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss was selected 55th overall by the Utah Jazz in this year's NBA Draft. Williams-Goss becomes the second Gonzaga player taken in the 2017 NBA Draft (Zach Collins, #10 to Portland) and the third Bulldogs' player selected in the past two years.

    • Gonzaga's Zach Collins selected 10th overall by the Sacramento Kings

      Former Gonzaga forward Zach Collins was selected 10th overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft. Collins becomes the Bulldogs' third lottery pick in the last five years, joining Kelly Olynyk (13th in 2013) and Domantas Sabonis (11th in 2016).

    • UW's Markelle Fultz selected 1st overall by the Philadelphia 76ers

      NEW YORK (AP) -- Philadelphia 76ers select Washington guard Markelle Fultz with No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Fultz set the UW freshman single-season points record with his 579 points.

    • I really love golf because, people say that golf isn’t a sport. But once you start playing it, it’s really hard… and fun. While golf might be the “good walk spoiled”, it’s pretty hard not to have fun at the Montana Grizzly golf camp. 

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • EWU's Jacob Wiley will join the Brooklyn Nets

    EWU's Jacob Wiley will join the Brooklyn Nets

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    In a way, it was a blessing for former Eastern Washington University basketball player Jacob Wiley not to be chosen in the two rounds of the National Basketball Association Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.   But he'll wind up in Brooklyn anyway, as the Nets.

    More >>

    In a way, it was a blessing for former Eastern Washington University basketball player Jacob Wiley not to be chosen in the two rounds of the National Basketball Association Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.   But he'll wind up in Brooklyn anyway, as the Nets.

    More >>
  • Quartet selected as co-captains for 2017 EWU football season

    Quartet selected as co-captains for 2017 EWU football season

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    Seniors Albert Havili, Andre Lino and Nic Sblendorio will join junior Gage Gubrud as the first captains in the head coaching career of Aaron Best, the first-year Eastern Washington University football coach announced Thursday (June 8).  

    More >>

    Seniors Albert Havili, Andre Lino and Nic Sblendorio will join junior Gage Gubrud as the first captains in the head coaching career of Aaron Best, the first-year Eastern Washington University football coach announced Thursday (June 8).  

    More >>
  • EWU's Ashli Payne to play professional basketball in Australia

    EWU's Ashli Payne to play professional basketball in Australia

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    CHENEY, Wash. – Recent Eastern Washington University women's basketball alumna Ashli Payne has signed a contract to play basketball professionally for the Gold Coast Rollers of the Queensland Basketball League in Gold Coast, Queensland.
     

    More >>

    CHENEY, Wash. – Recent Eastern Washington University women's basketball alumna Ashli Payne has signed a contract to play basketball professionally for the Gold Coast Rollers of the Queensland Basketball League in Gold Coast, Queensland.
     

    More >>