January 21, 2013

Hodgins Selected as Big Sky Player of the Week

Redshirt-freshman rides perfect offensive performance to first-career conference honor

Hayley Hodgins has arrived.

This past weekend, the redshirt freshman out of Pasco, Wash., led the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team to an important home sweep, as the Eagles won back-to-back games against North Dakota and Northern Colorado. For her contributions, Hodgins was selected as the Co-Big Sky Player of the Week, announced Monday (Jan. 21) by the league office. Hodgins shared the honor with Montana State’s Latisha Adams.

This is the first-career weekly honor for Hodgins, and the first for EWU in the 2012-13 campaign.

“Hayley has arrived in a lot of ways,” said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller. “She is a player we always felt was capable, and now she is to the point where she has more confidence in herself, the team has confidence in her and we are confident with her out there. Hayley is solid because she can shoot the three and also put it on the floor. She does a great job of being patient and taking what comes.”

Hodgins averaged 16.5 points per game, while shooting a sizzling 71 percent from the field in the pair of Big Sky games at Reese Court. She also added six rebounds, three blocked shots, one assist and one steal.

Hodgins earned her first-career start on Saturday (Jan. 19) against UNC, and the 5-10 guard certainly made the most of it. She did not miss a single shot all game, going 7-of-7 from the field and 3-of-3 from long range.

She finished with a career-high 17 points, and became the first player in the Big Sky this year to shoot 100 percent from the field with at least five attempts.

Behind her perfect offensive performance, the Eagles celebrated a 63-38 blowout of UNC, which snapped a four-game losing skid against the Bears, and also moved EWU into third place in the Big Sky standings.

Although her performance against UNC was epic, Hodgins was a big part of the team’s Thursday night win as well against North Dakota. She scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-4 from downtown, and a 4-of-6 effort at the free throw line.

She also contributed three rebounds and three blocked shots, as EWU rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat UND, 75-72.

In the final 90 seconds of the game, with Eastern trailing by one point, Hodgins made a sneaky back cut and converted a layup to give EWU the lead. She then extended that lead to 75-72 with a made free throw with just 10 seconds remaining. UND’s desperation three as time expired was off the mark, and EWU came away with a hard-fought victory. Hodgins played a career-high 33 minutes in the game.

In the last four games, Hodgins has put up more points than any other player on the team. In those games, she has scored 59 points for the Eags - 21 more than her total from the previous 12 appearances this season, and  has averaged the third-most minutes on the team at 26.8 per game.

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