Cohen and Hodgins Tabbed as Scholar-Athletes of the Month

Following Big Sky weekly honor, pair of first-year players recognized with esteemed monthly award from EWU Athletic Department

Redshirt-sophomore Joseph Cohen of the Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team and redshirt-freshman Hayley Hodgins from women’s basketball were selected as the Scholar-Athletes of the Month for February.

This award, presented by the EWU Athletic Department, recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior, so in this case, January.

Cohen and Hodgins are in their first official seasons in red and white after both utilized a redshirt year in 2011-12. It did not take long for either of these student-athletes to make an impact on their respective squads, as both were recently selected as Big Sky Players of the Week. Cohen has played in the No. 1 spot for EWU in all four matches so far this season, while Hodgins has earned a starting nod on the basketball team for the last five-consecutive games.

Cohen and Hodgins have also performed at a high level in the classroom. Cohen, a native of London, England, has maintained a 3.20 cumulative grade point average as a business major at Eastern. Hodgins, a 2011 graduate of Chiawana High School in Pasco, Wash., is a mechanical engineering major with a 3.8 GPA.

More on Cohen

In the first month of the 2013 tennis season, Cohen has emerged as EWU’s top player, compiling a 2-1 record at No. 1 singles and 2-2 mark playing at No. 1 doubles.

In Eastern’s most recent outings in Eugene, Ore., Cohen turned in an almost flawless weekend for the Eagles, as he won both his singles matches and one of two doubles contests against two tough opponents.

Cohen celebrated a big victory to start the weekend, when he took down Jeff Mullen of Oregon - a team ranked 72nd in the nation at the time. Playing in the top spot, Cohen outlasted the Pac-12 opponent on his home court, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5).

Cohen then topped South Carolina Upstate’s Matthias Kidler in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1 singles, and also enjoyed an 8-3 victory at No. 1 doubles.

Cohen was selected as the Big Sky Player of the Week for his efforts in the two matches in Eugene, Ore.

More on Hodgins

From January 17 - 31, the Eastern Washington women’s basketball squad won five-consecutive Big Sky games. During that time, Hodgins averaged a team-leading 14.2 points on 48 percent shooting, while also tallying 14 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals.

Hodgins recorded a new career-high in scoring in three-consecutive games, including one performance in which she was absolutely flawless on the offensive end.

In Eastern’s 63-38 rout of Northern Colorado (Jan. 19) - a team currently ranked second in the Big Sky - Hodgins was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from long range. She finished with a then-career-high 17 points and became the first and only player in the Big Sky this season to shoot 100 percent from the field with at least five attempts.

While her performance against UNC was epic, Hodgins was a big part of Eastern’s win against North Dakota two days prior (Jan. 17). She scored 16 points on a 5-of-10 effort from the floor, and had three rebounds and three blocked shots, as EWU rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat UND, 75-72.

For her performances in the home sweep, Hodgins was selected as the Big Sky Player of the Week - Eastern’s first honoree of the 2012-13 season.

On the same day Hodgins was named POW, the Eagles played Portland State on the road. In that game in the Rose City, Hodgins led all players with a career-high 22 points. She hit 4-of-8 shots from beyond the arc and made 4-of-4 at the charity stripe to lead EWU to a 68-56 victory.

After making her first-career start against Northern Colorado, Hodgins has been in Eastern’s starting lineup for five-straight games. She ranks fourth overall in the Big Sky in 3-point field goal percentage (40.0) and is first in that category in league-only statistics, having made 44.4 of her 3-point attempts in Eastern’s 12 Big Sky games.

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