Eagles Cruise Past Montana State - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Eagles Cruise Past Montana State

Lexie Nelson hits the layup in EWU's win over Montana State on Thursday. Lexie Nelson hits the layup in EWU's win over Montana State on Thursday.

by EWU Athletics

Cheney, Wash. – All five starters scored in double figures as the Eastern Washington women's basketball team cruised past visiting Montana State, 81-66, in a Big Sky Thursday, Feb. 6, at Reese Court.

Eastern (10-10, 6-5 Big Sky) led for the final 37 minutes after Montana State (11-9, 6-5 BSC) opened up a quick 4-0 lead. The Eagles' lead would balloon to as many as 19 early in the second half as the Bobcats got no closer than 10 points over the final 20 minutes.

Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter and junior Melissa Williams each finished with double-doubles as Ashenfelter tallied 16 points while Williams registered 12 points. The duo pulled down 11 rebounds apiece to lead all players.

Junior Lexie Nelson tied Ashenfelter with a team-high 16 points while redshirt sophomoreHayley Hodgins added 15 points and freshman Jade Redmon scored a season-high 14 points.

"It's great to see us sharing the ball like we are," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We talked all week in practice about moving the ball and not always taking the first shot we get. We wanted to create for each other and I was happy we did that."

EWU shot 52.8 percent for the game after shooting less than 40 percent in its previous two outings. The Eagles drained six three-pointers and went 19-of-25 from the charity stripe.

The Bobcats were held to just 36.7-percent shooting, improving Eastern's record to 6-1 when holding its opponents to less than 40 percent from the floor. MSU knocked down seven three-pointers but took 22 long-range shots to the Eagles' 14.

Eastern did a good job of limiting Montana State to one shot per possession, outrebounding the visitors, 42-29, and only allowing 10 offensive rebounds, seven of which came in the first half. The Eagles got a solid rebounding effort from its guards as Nelson grabbed five boards while Hodgins and Redmon each notched four rebounds apiece.

"We're constantly working on rebounding in practice," Schuller said. "We're doing a lot better job of getting bodies on people and making a concerted effort to box out. We've tried to rebound more as a team, and our guards have gotten involved more recently."

Montana State raced out to a 4-0 lead early in the game on a pair of buckets from Jasmine Hommes. Redmon knocked down a pair of free throws to get the Eagles on the board before Ashenfelter drained a triple off a pass from Nelson to give Eastern a lead it would never relinquish.

Nelson put EWU up 11, 20-9, after a successful trip to the free throw line midway through the first half but the visitors would cut Eastern's lead to three, 22-19, with 9:18 on the clock. The Eagles promptly reeled off a 13-2 run over the next seven minutes before Hodgins buried a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give EWU a 43-27 halftime advantage.

Eastern committed an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers but limited Montana State to just six points off its miscues. The Eagles did a lot of damage in transition, finishing with 18 fast break points while holding the Bobcats scoreless in the open court.

Hommes led all scorers with 20 points while Ashley Brumwell added 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Eastern is back in action this Saturday, Feb. 8, when Montana visits Reese Court. Saturday's contest is Cancer Awareness Day, and fans that show their pink attire to the ticket booth will receive free admission. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

  • College

    • Defense dominates in Eastern's first Fall scrimmage

      There were only compliments being passed around after Eastern Washington University defensive units held EWU's vaunted offense without a touchdown in EWU's 72-play scrimmage Saturday at Roos Field.

    • Griz offense shines in second scrimmage of fall camp

      The Montana Grizzly defense might have stolen the show last week in the first scrimmage of fall camp. But the offense would not be denied Saturday as they racked up 24 first downs and nearly 400 yards of total offense.  

    • Vandals to host open scrimmage on Saturday

      Idaho football will wrap up fall camp Saturday (Aug. 19), with a scrimmage at 10 a.m. in the Kibbie Dome. The scrimmage is open to the public and will be the final chance for fans to see the Vandals in action before the season opener Aug. 31, against Sacramento State.
    • Danielle Mauldin joins Eagles women's basketball coaching staff

      Mauldin is Saint Mary's and the West Coast Conference's all-time leading rebounder with 1,282 over four years and also set a SMC program record for double-doubles.

    • Zags women’s soccer home match versus BYU on ESPNU

      Gonzaga will host preseason No. 8 BYU from Luger Field in a meeting that will have first-year GU head coach Chris Watkins facing his former school.

    • Gonzaga women's soccer begins regular season Friday

      The Zags are unbeaten in their last five season-openers, dating back to the 3-1 win over South Dakota in 2012. GU beat Nevada in Hawaii in last season’s opener, 1-0.

    • Jake Browning named to Manning Award watch list

      Browning was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting after passing for 3,430 yards and a Pac-12, record-tying 43 touchdowns in 2016.

    • Vandals QB Linehan named to Manning Award watch list

      Linehan threw for 3,184 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors. He also went on to capture the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Most Valuable Player award, after leading the Vandals to a win over Colorado State.

    • Luke Falk named to Manning Award watch list

      Falk, a redshirt-senior, was also finalist for the Johnny Unitas Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award last season after throwing for the third-most yards in the country (4,468) and tying his own school-record with 38 touchdown passes.

    • Raptors sign Kyle Wiltjer to a 1-year deal

      Wiltjer, 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, appeared in 14 games for the Houston Rockets last season, totaling 13 points and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes of action. He also averaged 20.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 35.9 minutes in 22 contests for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League.