EWU Eagles

EWU drops Portland State 68-62

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team completes the two-game road sweep in Big Sky Conference action, after defeating Portland State 68-62 on Friday (Feb. 4).

The Big Three of seniors Ashli Payne and Tisha Phillips, and junior Delaney Hodgins led the way to the Friday afternoon victory with a combined 50 points. Phillips led the trios' effort with 19 points, followed by 18 points from Hodgins and 13 from Payne.

The Eagles found themselves in control for nearly the entirety of the game, holding a lead for 37 minutes of action with only two lead changes. Midway through the fourth quarter, however, EWU was in danger of losing that lead with PSU pushing the score to just a 47-46 Eastern advantage. With 7:14 remaining in the game, an offensive rebound gave sophomore Violet Kapri Morrow an open jumper that would ignite a brief 7-2 run. The Eagles would keep a grasp on this lead for the rest of the contest, and dagger the Vikings with late-game free throws.

"Anytime you can get a road sweep in the Big Sky it's a good weekend," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "Today wasn't always pretty, but we stepped up and made sure to get stops when we needed to."

"Delaney really gave us a big boost in the first half shooting the ball, and I thought Ashli down the stretch knocking down free throws was really clutch. For most of the game I thought we were really good defensively, and overall we rebounded well on this trip."

Win-Loss Record: Eastern Washington improves to 8-3 in Big Sky, while they move to 13-9 on the season. With today's decision, the Vikings are handed a two-game losing streak and fall to 4-6 in conference and 10-12 overall.

What It Means: Eastern competed its first undefeated road trip in conference play, defeating the Big Sky leading scorer, Sacramento State, 72-65 on Thursday and Portland State on Saturday.

Key Stats: The largest difference makers for EWU came in the three-point and free throw shooting departments. The Eagles made six threes on 37.5 percent shooting, while holding PSU to just three triples and a 25 percent clip.

Eastern would close out the game and keep its lead throughout the contest with a strong shooting from the charity stripe. The team hit 18 free throws on 75 percent shooting.

Turning Point: For the first time since the opening minutes, EWU was at risk of losing its lead and momentum in the second quarter. But at 6:24 left in the period, Hodgins nailed a three-point jumper and sparked a 14-2 run that lasted over five minutes; eventually giving the Eagles a 6 point lead at the half. Over that run, EWU shot 5-7 and marched up to a 30-17 lead.

Top Performers: Tisha Phillips put up a team-leading 19 points 7-of-12 shooting, including a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc.

Delaney Hodgins scored 18 of her own on a 7-of-19 clip, while pulling in seven rebounds.

Ashli Payne helped ice the game with a 9-of-10 performance from the charity stripe. She finished with 13 points, and a team-leading 14 rebounds and 5 assists.

Notables: With today's win, Eastern improves to 28-35 all-time against Portland State.

Saturday's win marks the first time this season that the Eagles have swept a Big Sky road trip.

Hodgins' 18-point outing marks her 72nd career game with double-digit scoring.

The 13-point afternoon for Payne marks her 28th career game with double-figures.

With six three-point field goals, Eastern has now made at least one three pointer over its last 321 games.

What's Next: The Eagles return home to face North Dakota on Thursday (Feb. 9), starting at 6:05 p.m. Pacific Time. Fans can watch the game live on WatchBigSky.com or on the Watch Big Sky app.

For more information on the Eastern Washington women's basketball team, follow @EWUWBB on Twitter and Instagram or like EWU Women's Basketball on Facebook.