Ashenfelter’s Buzzer-Beater Gives Eagles Thrilling Win Over Vandals
Cheney, Wash. – Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter drained a jumper with two seconds left to lift the Eastern Washington women's basketball team over visiting Idaho, 85-84, Friday, Dec. 14, in a nonconference game at Reese Court.
After freshman Jade Redmon grabbed an offensive rebound with 12 ticks remaining, Ashenfelter got the ball reversed to her, driving into the lane from the left wing. Her jump stop sent the Vandals' defender flying, then she calmly drained a jumper from the Big Sky logo below the free throw line.
Idaho's Christina Salvatore missed a jumper as time expired.
Eastern improves to 2-5 with the win while Idaho drops to 7-5 with the loss.
"I thought it was a really good basketball game," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "I have so much respect for Idaho. They play very hard, and Jon (Newlee) does a great job coaching them. I'm really proud of our team. This is a great win for us."
Ashenfelter led the Eagles in scoring with 20 points, tying her career high. She notched her second career double-double with 10 assists while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Senior Laura Hughes had 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench, finishing 7-of-9 from the field to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. Junior Lexie Nelson chipped in 16 points, tying her career high with four made three-pointers, while sophomore Hayley Hodgins added 14 points and five boards.
"I like the fact that we have a nice mix of bigs and guards," Schuller said. "We can really get four around one at times and make teams pick their poison."
After Idaho struck first, the Eagles went on a 15-4 run spanning five minutes, going up nine, 15-6, on a fast-break jumper from Nelson at the 14:52 mark. EWU extended its lead to 10, 29-19, after freshman Marly Anderson converted a pass from Nelson with 8:43 on the clock.
Eastern took its largest lead of the game, 42-25, after Hodgins' fast-break lay-in at the 4:46 mark, but the visitors fought back, cutting the Eagles' lead to nine on Alyssa Charlston's three-pointer with 1:05 left. Following Hughes' bucket on Eastern's next possession, Charlston buried a pair of free throws to keep Idaho within single digits heading into the break.
The Eagles shot a blistering 62.5 percent in the opening stanza, making nine of 14 three-pointers.
The Vandals opened the second half on a 13-0 run, taking a four-point advantage nearly five minutes into the half. Hughes stopped the visitor's run with a lay-up on a pass from Ashenfelter before a triple from Ashenfelter tied the score at 59-59 at the 13:45 mark. The second half featured 10 lead changes as neither team was able to gain much separation from each other throughout the frame.
Idaho's Addie Schivo converted a three-point play to give the Vandals a six-point advantage, 82-76, with 3:56 remaining, but a three-point play from Ashenfelter and a free throw from Hughes brought Eastern to within two, 82-80, with 2:15 left. Charlston put Idaho up four on its next possession, but Hodgins buried a triple after her defender left to double Hughes in the paint, cutting the Vandals' lead to one, 84-83, at the 1:50 mark.
The two teams would go scoreless over the remainder of the half until Ashenfelter's game-winning jumper came with two ticks left.
Eastern shot at a 52-percent clip for the game compared to Idaho's 47-percent clip. The Eagles made a season-high 12 three-pointers while the Vandals buried seven triples. Idaho made 15-of-18 shots from the line while EWU went 7-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Idaho had the edge in the paint, outscoring Eastern by 10, 38-28, and registered 23 points off turnovers to the Eagles' 12.
Charlston finished with a career-high 32 points while Stacey Barr added 19.
The Eagles are back in action next Tuesday, Dec. 17, when they host Northwest University. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. PST.