This Week In EWU Women's Basketball
|Northern Arizona||Sacramento State|
|Thursday, Jan. 16 | 6 p.m.||Saturday, Jan. 18 | 2 p.m.|
|Reese Court | Cheney, Wash.||Reese Court | Cheney, Wash.
|Live Stats | Live Video||Live Stats | Live Video|
|EWU on Facebook | EWU on Twitter|
The Eastern Washington women's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Reese Court for a pair of Big Sky games this week, hosting Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. Eastern opens play against Northern Arizona on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. before taking on Sacramento State on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.
Eastern (6-8, 2-3 Big Sky) dropped hard-fought league contests at Montana and Montana State last weekend. Down by as many as 11 in the first half against the Grizzlies, the Eagles got to within six with 12 minutes left to play only to see Montana run away with it down the stretch. EWU rebounded with a strong showing against Montana State, opening up a 10-point lead with eight minutes to play before the Bobcats ended the game on a 25-11 run to steal the come-from-behind win.
Junior Lexie Nelson continued her stellar play, scoring 11 points against Montana before dropping 19 points against Montana State. She knocked down a pair of three-pointers in both games and went a combined 12-of-13 from the line for the weekend. Sophomore Hayley Hodgins was right behind Nelson, going for 10 points at Montana before recording 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds against the Bobcats. Hodgins buried four three-pointers against MSU while Nelson added four assists and two steals.
The Eagles pace the Big Sky in three-point percentage (.387) and free throw percentage (.750), and rank second in the league in field goal percentage (.432). Nelson ranks second in the conference in three-point percentage (.474) while senior Laura Hughes is second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage (.558).
EWU has done an exceptional job of taking care of the basketball this season, ranking third in the Big Sky and 36th nationally in assist-turnover ratio. Three Eagles rank in the top four of the Big Sky in that category - Kylie Huerta (1st; 3.0), Aubrey Ashenfelter (2nd; 2.4) and Jade Redmon (4th; 1.9).
Northern Arizona (3-9, 0-3 BSC) is in action Monday night against Southern Utah still in search of its first conference victory. The only team to sweep Eastern in Big Sky play a year ago, NAU has lost its last six games dating back to Dec. 19. The Lumberjacks rank third in the league in field goal percentage (.424) but are making just 26.9 percent of their shots from three-point range. Amanda Frost (19.7 points, 2.1 rpg, 2.5 spg) and Erikka Banks (12.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg) are the Lumberjacks' top offensive threats.
Sacramento State (11-2, 3-1 BSC) has been the talk of the Big Sky so far this season as first-year head coach Bunky Harkleroad has installed an up-tempo style that includes a full-court press and frequent lineup changes. The Hornets average a league-best 93.1 points per game, leading the conference in steals (16.0), offensive rebounds (18.5) and three-pointers made (14.4). Six players average double-figure points for CSUS, led by Alle Moreno (15.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Fantasia Hilliard (13.4 ppg, 7.2 apg).