EWU Women Dominate Sac State - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EWU Women Dominate Sac State

Posted:
Laura Hughes finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Eags past Sac. State on Saturday. Laura Hughes finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Eags past Sac. State on Saturday.

by EWU Athletics

Cheney, Wash. – Behind an impressive effort on the defensive end and patience on the offensive end, the Eastern Washington women's basketball team held off visiting Sacramento State, 78-65, in a Big Sky counter Saturday, Jan. 18, at Reese Court.

Eastern (8-8, 4-3 Big Sky) held Sacramento State (11-4, 3-3 BSC) to a season-low 65 points, nearly 30 less than its average of 93.1 that ranked third nationally entering the week. The Hornets shot just 32.8 percent from the field, their second-lowest percentage of the year. EWU's perimeter defense also bothered CSUS as the visitors connected at a 20.7-percent clip from three-point range, their lowest of the season.

The Eagles are also the first team to win the turnover battle against Sacramento State this season, forcing 21 turnovers while turning the ball over 19 times.

"Our team worked really hard defensively," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We tried to keep our players as fresh as we could. It was important that we had some legs down the stretch."

Junior Lexie Nelson and senior Laura Hughes each scored 19 points for the Eagles, who shot a blistering 54.8 percent in the second half after connecting at a 39.4-percent clip in the opening stanza.

Nelson knocked down three triples and made all six of her foul shots, extending her streak to 20 consecutive made free throws.

Hughes did all of her damage in just 16 minutes, going 8-of-12 from the field while pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.

Sophomore Hayley Hodgins added 14 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Junior Melissa Williams chipped in 10 points and four rebounds.

Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter finished with six points, five rebounds, five assists and a game-high four steals while freshman Jade Redmon tallied six points and six rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocks.

EWU came into the game with a plan to control possession and limit Sacramento State's opportunities. Coincidentally, the Eagles were passive early, turning down open looks early in the shot clock. A lay-up from Ashenfelter gave Eastern a 6-2 lead at the 16:34 mark, but a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes saw the Hornets go up five, 15-10. During the visitors' run, the Eagles shot just 2-of-8 from the field and turned the ball over five times.

Williams stopped Sacramento State's run with a jumper off a pass from Hodgins, but the Hornets kept coming, taking their largest lead of the game, 20-14, on a layup from Alle Moreno with 7:42 on the clock. Eastern would score eight of the next 10 points to tie the score at 22-22 with 3:58 left, but five straight free throws put CSUS back up five, 27-22, less than 30 seconds later.

A layup from Redmon knotted the score at 27-27, but Sacramento State converted one free throw on its next possession before a Shanti Smith jumper put the Hornets up three, 30-27, at the 1:19 mark. Hughes knocked down a pair of free throws on Eastern's next possession as CSUS took a one-point lead into the locker room.

The second half was a different story as the Eagles reverted back to their strengths, using a 10-0 run over the opening 2:30 to take a six-point lead, 39-33, that they would never relinquish. A three-pointer from Ashlyn Crenshaw brought the Hornets to within one, 39-38, but Eastern responded with another run, scoring 11 of the next 12 points to take an 11-point advantage, 50-39, with 12:00 on the clock.

A jumper from Williams gave EWU a 14-point cushion, 57-43, with 7:51 remaining, but the visitors had one more run in them, cutting the Eagles' lead to five, 59-54, over the next three minute. The two teams traded buckets over the next two minutes as a layup from Hughes gave Eastern a nine-point lead, 68-59, at the 2:19 mark.

Sacramento State converted inside on its next trip down before Smith made a pair of free throws that brought the Hornets back to within five, 68-63, with 1:45 left. Eastern would make its next eight free throws to close out the game as CSUS had turnovers on four straight possessions down the stretch. A late bucket from Fantasia Hilliard resulted in the final 13-point margin.

"The biggest adjustment we made at halftime was to not be as passive," Schuller said. "I thought we were effective with our game plan, but I also thought we turned down some opportunities to do what we do well. I didn't want Sacramento State to totally make us deviate from who we are. We did a better job of understanding when we should take shots and when we should pull it out."

Eastern outrebounded the Hornets, 41-37, and got 18 second-chance points to their 15. EWU scored 43 of its points in the paint compared to just 24 for Sacramento State.

Smith led CSUS with 17 points while Margaret Huntington added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Eastern returns to action next Saturday, Jan. 25, when it opens a three-game road swing at Southern Utah. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. PST.

  • College

    • Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    • Huskies host USC for final regular season series

      SEATTLE - Husky Ballpark will be abuzz starting Thursday as the Huskies have a big weekend in store for the final home series of the year. On the field, UW (26-25, 12-15 Pac-12) hosts USC (20-32, 7-20) in an important series, starting Thursday

    • No. 1 seeded Gonzaga begins WCC Championships against Saint Mary's

      This is the second time the Zags have been the championship’s top seed, also taking No. 1 in the very first tournament in 2013...Gonzaga has reached Banner Island Ballpark four times in the competition’s five-year history...Gonzaga and BYU are the only two schools to qualify for four WCC tournaments.

    • Gonzaga's Johnathan Williams will return for senior season

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Johnathan Williams will return to Gonzaga for his senior season after initially submitting his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.   By not signing with an agent, Williams retained his collegiate eligibility to keep the option to return to Gonzaga in 2017-18. A key player in last season’s run to the national championship game.

    • Idaho's Victor Sanders returns for senior season

      MOSCOW, Idaho – After working out with a handful of NBA teams, junior guard Victor Sanders has elected to return to Idaho for his senior season in 2017-18.   He led the Vandals with 20.9 points per game a season ago, helping Idaho to a Big Sky Tournament Semifinal appearance and a first round win in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

    • WSU hosts No. 8 Stanford for final home series of season

      Washington State (24-26, 10-17 Pac-12) hosts No. 8 Stanford (37-14, 18-9 Pac-12) to close out the regular season. The series begins Thursday at 6 p.m., continues Friday at 4 p.m. and wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m., all on the Pac-12 Network.

    • WSU to induct six individuals and a team into Athletic Hall of Fame

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University will induct six individuals and a team into its Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 22-23, 2017, Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday.   The honorees will join the current 210 individuals and teams in the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction dinner will be held Sept. 22

    • Gonzaga's Machtolf wins Coach of the Year, Morgan first team All-WCC

      SAN BRUNO, Calif.—Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf was named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year Tuesday, and six Bulldog players received All-WCC recognition, including ace Eli Morgan who was named First Team All-Conference in a vote by the league’s 10 head coaches. Machtolf received his third WCC Coach of the Year award

    • Zags drop final regular season game to Fresno State 9-2

      FRESNO, Calif.—The Gonzaga baseball team played one final regular season game Monday night, falling 9-2 to Fresno State at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in Fresno. The Fresno State Bulldogs took an early lead, scoring two in the first inning after loading the bases...

    • Report: Gonzaga and Creighton agree to home-and-home series starting next season

      The Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball team has agreed to a home-and-home series against the Creighton Bluejays starting next season, according to The Spokesman-Review.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    The defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World SeriesThe defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World Series

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    More >>

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    More >>
  • 2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    Courtesy: Washington AthleticsCourtesy: Washington Athletics

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    More >>
  • Nick Booker hired as EWU's associate head men’s basketball coach

    Nick Booker hired as EWU's associate head men’s basketball coach

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    With seven years of NCAA Division I basketball experience, Nick Booker has been hired as the associate head coach on the staff of new Eastern Washington University men's basketball head coach Shantay Legans.   Booker spent the 2016-17 season at his alma mater, Davidson College, as director of basketball operations. The previous six seasons he was at UC Irvine in California, including the last five as an assistant coach.   As a player and coach, he has been...

    More >>

    With seven years of NCAA Division I basketball experience, Nick Booker has been hired as the associate head coach on the staff of new Eastern Washington University men's basketball head coach Shantay Legans.   Booker spent the 2016-17 season at his alma mater, Davidson College, as director of basketball operations. The previous six seasons he was at UC Irvine in California, including the last five as an assistant coach.   As a player and coach, he has been...

    More >>