EWU Women Handle Thunderbird Test - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EWU Women Handle Thunderbird Test

Lexie Nelson led EWU with 17 points in the win over Southern Utah on Thursday night. Lexie Nelson led EWU with 17 points in the win over Southern Utah on Thursday night.

by EWU Athletics

Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington women's basketball team put its toughness on display Thursday night against visiting Southern Utah, defeating the Thunderbirds, 59-54, in a physical Big Sky contest at Reese Court.

Eastern (13-11, 9-6 Big Sky) turned in a dominant defensive performance, holding Southern Utah (16-8, 10-5 BSC) to more than 20 points below its season average while limiting the Thunderbirds to just 38.5 percent shooting from the floor.

"I thought we did a good job of matching their toughness," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "We knew it was going to be a battle just as it was in Cedar City the first time. I thought we had some players step up and make big plays and we had some key defensive plays that ignited us and gave us some baskets that were hard to come by."

The Eagles scored less than 60 points for just the fourth time this season, and was well below its season average of 71.4 points per game. EWU shot 39.1 percent from the field on the night, its worst shooting performance in Reese Court this season. The Eagles came up big from outside and at the free throw line, however, knocking down seven three-pointers while shooting 16-of-22 from the charity stripe.

Junior Lexie Nelson led Eastern with 17 points, shooting 6-of-12 from the field while burying four three-pointers.

Redshirt sophomore Hayley Hodgins added 12 points and seven rebounds while freshman Jade Redmon scored in double figures for the fourth time in five games, chipping in 11 points thanks to a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line.

Junior Melissa Williams led the way on the glass with a team-high eight rebounds to go along with eight points and three blocks.

In a game that saw eight ties and 14 lead changes, it was Eastern who had the last laugh, using a 10-3 run late in the second half to regain the lead for good. After a Carli Moreland lay-up brought Southern Utah to within one, 49-48, with 2:29 left, Nelson drilled a momentum-changing three-pointer to give the Eagles a four-point cushion.

EWU came up with a stop on the Thunderbirds' next possession, then Redmon stepped to the line and drained a pair of free throws to give Eastern its largest lead of the game, 54-48, with 1:20 remaining. A quick 4-0 run brought SUU back to within two, 54-52, with 22 ticks left, but the Eagles made five of their final six free throws to secure the win.

The Eagles and Thunderbirds pulled down 32 rebounds apiece, with SUU corralling 13 offensive boards to EWU's 11.

Both squads committed more than 20 turnovers as Southern Utah finished with 22 miscues to the Eagles' 21. SUU outscored EWU in the paint, 24-16, but Eastern finished with a 10-4 edge in fast break points.

Hailey Mandelko scored a game-high 19 points while Carli Moreland chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds. Lori Parkinson, the Big Sky's third-best percentage shooter, was held to just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Eastern is back in action on Monday, Feb. 24, when it squares off with Dam Cup rival Portland State in Portland, Ore. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PST.

  • College

    • Grizzly Sports Report 1-15-18

      The Griz and Lady Griz go 4-0 over the weekend sweeping Sacramento State and Portland State and now BOTH teams are in first place in the Big Sky Conference. Big Sky player of the week Michael Oguine and Madi Schoening join host Shaun Rainey to talk about the successful weekend. With Griz Head Coach Travis DeCuire out on the recruiting trail Assistant Rachi Wortham takes his place. 
    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 1/15

      Check out this week's top plays!

    • From manager to player: Gonzaga's Pete living out new kind of Cinderella story

      Brian Pete’s college basketball career didn’t begin with a host of recruitment letters or scholarship offers, it began with a brief conversation over postgame pizza. In just a few days, Pete went from washing jerseys to wearing one. Now, a team that became famous two decades ago for dancing in Cinderella’s slipper is now celebrating a different kind of rags to riches tale.

    • No. 15 Gonzaga holds off San Francisco 75-65

      Gonzaga had four players finish the game with double figures, led by Johnathan Williams with 17 points (Perkins 16 pts, Melson 14 pts, Hachimura 10 pts).

    • Whitworth falls to George Fox 86-78

      Kaitlin Jamieson's 21 points and 14 rebounds led the George Fox Bruins past the Whitworth Pirates 86-78 on Saturday evening. 

    • Robert Franks' record performance leads WSU past Cal, 78-53

      Robert Franks set a new Washington State single-game record after he made ten 3-pointers and helped the Cougars to a 78-53 win over Cal on Saturday.

    • Gonzaga beats USF in dominant fashion 74-47

      Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, and added a career-high nine assists to lead GU as well..

    • WSU and college football legend Keith Jackson dies at 89

      Jackson has been widely regarded as "the voice of college football" after spending 52 years as a broadcaster - 40 of those years at ABC Sports.

    • Eagles AD Bill Chaves named AD at North Dakota

      Chaves was named the 13th athletic director at Eastern Washington in August of 2007 and has since been a two-time recipient of the national Athletic Director of the Year.

    • Vandals beat Eagles 58-51 in second game of doubleheader

      Sanders led the Vandals in scoring yet again, finishing with 18 points.  He was also tremendous on the glass, grabbing a game-high nine boards