February 11, 2014

@EWUWBB Takes Winning Streak On The Road To Sacramento State, Northern Arizona

This Week In EWU Women's Basketball

at Sacramento State at Northern Arizona
Thursday, Feb. 13 | 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 | 5:30 p.m.
The Hornets Nest | Sacramento, Calif. The Skydome | Flagstaff, Ariz.
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After earning a weekend sweep of the Montana programs last time out, the Eastern Washington women's basketball team takes its three-game winning streak on the road for a pair of Big Sky counters at Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. EWU opens play against the Hornets on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. before facing the Lumberjacks on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday's tilt at Northern Arizona will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Arizona, marking the Eagles' second television appearance this season.

Eastern (11-10, 7-5 Big Sky) moved up from seventh place into a three-way tie for fourth place after defeating both Montana State and Montana last weekend. The Eagles swept the weekend series from the two Montana schools for just the seventh time in program history, upending the Bobcats, 81-66, on Thursday, Feb. 6, before cruising past the Lady Griz, 71-61, on Saturday, Feb. 8. EWU is now 10-2 overall and 6-1 in league games when holding opponents to less than 70 points.

All five of EWU's starters scored in double figures in both games last weekend. Junior Melissa Williams finished with double-doubles in both contests, earning Big Sky Co-Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career. She notched 12 points and 11 rebounds against Montana State before tallying 10 points and 10 boards versus Montana.

Junior Lexie Nelson led the Eagles with 35 total points last week while senior Aubrey Ashenfelter (29 points), freshman Jade Redmon (27 points), redshirt sophomore Hayley Hodgins (25 points) and Williams (22 points) all finished with at least 20 total points. Ashenfelter matched Williams' total of 11 boards against Montana Statefor her third career double-double.

Sacramento State (15-9, 7-5 BSC) are tied for fourth in the league standings with Eastern and Idaho State. After opening the season with 11 wins in their first 12 games, the Hornets are just 4-5 in their last nine outings. CSUS has suffered just one loss at home this season, falling to conference foe Southern Utah, 97-79, back on Jan. 11. Sacramento State leads the nation in three-pointers made per game with 13 while six players average double-figures for the Hornets, led by Alle Moreno (14.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Fantasia Hilliard (12.6 ppg, 6.8 apg).

Eastern won this season's first meeting, defeating Sacramento State, 78-65, in Reese Court on Jan. 18. Nelson and senior Laura Hughes had 19 points apiece to lead all scorers while Hodgins added 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. EWU held the high-scoring Hornets to just 65 points and 32.8 percent shooting while becoming the first team to win the turnover battle, forcing 21 turnovers while committing 19 miscues.

Northern Arizona (6-15, 3-9 BSC) have lost five of their last six league games, falling to 10th in the conference standings in the process. The Lumberjacks are just 2-7 at home on the season, winning one of its six Big Sky home games thus far. Amanda Frost is the league's top scorer, boasting an average of 22.0 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range. Erikka Banks (14.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg) is the only player in the Big Sky to shoot better than 60 percent from the field, owning a field goal percentage of 60.7.

EWU flew past the Lumberjacks in the first encounter this year, opening up a 19-point halftime lead before going on to win, 92-68. Three Eagles scored at least 20 points in the same game in what is believed to be the first time in school history as Hodgins poured in a career-high 26 points while Nelson went for 21 points and Hughes added 20 points. Eastern shot 51.6 percent from the field while NAU connected on just 32.2 percent of its shots.

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