Sports

Eastern Women Fall to Northern Colorado

CHENEY, Wash - The Eastern Washington women's basketball team dropped a tightly-contested Big Sky Conference opener to Northern Colorado on Thursday (Dec. 28) by a final score of 70-65.
 
The Eagles had four players in double figures for the second time this season in Delaney HodginsSymone StarksViolet Kapri Morrow and Alissa Sealby, and outrebounded UNC 38-to-25. However, the Bears shot 50 percent from three-point land on 9-for-18 shooting compared to Eastern's 25 percent on 6-for-24.
 
"I thought after the first quarter we played Eagle basketball, we looked much better. Northern Colorado is a great basketball team, they are going to win a lot of games this year and have exceptional players," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "In the end, we did a lot of things well but it came down to three-point shooting and that was the difference in the ball game."
 
The Bears used runs of 11-0 and 6-0 in the first quarter to lead by seven. Both teams fell cold during the second quarter, but a Violet Kapri Morrow three-pointer sparked a 7-0 Eagle run to close out the half, holding Northern Colorado scoreless for the final three and a half minutes to trail by two heading into the locker room.
 
UNC used a 14-3 run in the third quarter to open their largest lead of the night. Eastern would respond with a short 8-0 spurt to cut the lead back to single digits after hitting four straight field goals, but trailed 50-42 heading into the fourth.
 
Hodgins would hit a jumper with less than five remaining in the fourth to put the Eagles within seven points. After the Bears fired off six quick points, Starks had a steal and returned it for two with less than three minutes to go. Sealby scored four points in the final 30 seconds to give EWU a boost, but they ran out of time and fell 70-65.
 
WIN-LOSS RECORDS: With the loss, the Eagles fall to 5-8 on the season and 0-1 in Big Sky play. Northern Colorado improves to 9-3 overall and opens conference play, 1-0. The defeat snaps a three-game win streak over the Bears.
 
WHAT IT MEANS: Eastern Washington drops its conference opener for the first time in three seasons, falling to 21-15 all-time in Big Sky openers. They travel to Northern Colorado for a rematch on Jan. 27.
 
KEY STATISTICS: The Bears shot 47.9 percent on the night compared to the Eagles' 39.3 percent clip. Eastern was better from the free-throw line, shooting 75 percent compared to UNC's 71.4 percent. Eastern outrebounded the Bears, as each Eagle that checked in recorded one board, but had 20 turnovers compared to their 16.
 
TOP PERFORMERS: Delaney Hodgins led the team with 18 points, followed by Symone Starks who had 14. Both Violet Kapri Morrow and Alissa Sealby added 11. Hodgins flirted with a double-double, leading the team with nine rebounds. Starks had five steals while Hodgins had six assists and went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
 
NOTEABLES: Violet Kapri Morrow tied her career-high with three three-pointers. Delaney Hodgins extended her double-digit scoring streak to nine straight games, the 89th of her career. Symone Starks also scored in double figures for the third straight game, her fifth of the season. Starks also recorded five steals, marking the eighth game this season that she had at least three. Alissa Sealby scored in double figures for the first time her career, totaling a career-high 11 points.
 
SOARING TO THE TOP: After scoring 18 points tonight, Delaney Hodgins now has 1,673 career points to rank third all-time on EWU's all-time career scoring list. The Preseason Big Sky MVP is just 60 points away from moving into sole possession of second place and is 191 away from breaking her older sister Haley Hodgins' all-time record of 1,865 points.
 
UP NEXT: Eastern Washington plays host to North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.


SPORTS HEADLINES

THIS WEEK'S CIRCULARS