Moscow, Idaho – The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team was unable to overcome a cold shooting day, falling at Idaho, 71-58, in a Big Sky Conference game at the Cowan Spectrum Saturday, Jan. 31.
Eastern falls to 4-4 in league play and 11-8 overall while Idaho improves to 3-5 in the Big Sky and 9-10 overall.
What It Means
The loss prevents EWU from winning its third straight over Idaho and keeps the Eagles winless in Moscow dating back to Dec. 30, 2002.
A lay-up from junior Hayley Hodgins put Eastern up two, 27-25, with 2:25 left in the first half, but the Vandals closed the opening stanza on a 5-0 run, punctuated by a buzzer-beating lay-up to take a 30-27 lead into halftime. Idaho's spurt gave the hosts plenty of momentum as it reeled off an 8-0 run to start the second half, leading 38-27 with 17:14 remaining.
EWU opened the second half going 2-of-14 from the field, but continued to fight, cutting the Vandals' lead to just three, 51-48, on a three-pointer from sophomore Jade Redmon at the 7:40 mark. The Eagles would not score for the next three minutes, however, as Idaho regained an 11-point cushion, 59-48, before a bucket from freshman Delaney Hodgins momentarily stopped the hosts' run.
A triple from Idaho's Stacey Barr put the Vandals up 12, 62-50, with 4:25 remaining, and the hosts would lead by double figures the rest of the way as Eastern got no closer than 11 down the stretch.
Hayley Hodgins led EWU with 22 points, knocking down three three-pointers. Redmon was the only other Eagle in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
Senior Lexie Nelson and Delaney Hodgins had eight points apiece while senior Melissa Williams finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, adding seven points, two blocked shots and two assists to her stat line.
Eastern was held to just 35.6 percent shooting on the day, including a 29-percent clip in the second half. Idaho shot 36.9 percent overall, connecting at a 37.9-percent clip over the final 20 minutes.
Both teams made seven three-pointers but the Vandals went 16-of-19 from the free throw line compared to EWU's nine made free throws on 13 attempts. All 32 of the game's free throw attempts came in the second half.
Idaho outrebounded Eastern, 50-34, and pulled down 16 offensive boards to the Eagles seven. The Vandals finished with 12 second-chance points while EWU was held to just six.
UI finished with 32 points in the paint while limiting the Eagles to just 14 points in the painted area.
"Offensively, we struggled to put the ball in the basket in the second half. Idaho did a good job of making us take jumpers. I didn't think we got the ball inside enough. Anytime you shoot 29 percent you obviously didn't have a great day offensively. I thought we had some key lapses on defense, too. We would cut the lead down and then lose focus on that end of the floor. We need to get back to playing a complete 40-minute game.
"We play our best basketball when we share the ball and distribute. Our strength is having four or five players in double figures, and if you're leading scorer has 14 but other players have 13, 12 or 11, that's okay. We need to get back to playing that way and sharing the ball."
* Eastern's 35.6-percent clip from the field is its lowest mark since it shot 34.9 percent versus Georgia Southern Back on Dec. 21, 2014.
* EWU's 14 points in the paint are the fewest this season. The team's previous low was 18 points, which came in games against SMU, Georgia Southern and Florida, respectively.
* Idaho's Stacey Barr finished with 30 points, the most a single player has scored against Eastern since Northern Arizona's Erikka Banks had 31 back on Feb. 15, 2014.
The Eagles return home to face league-leading Montana next Thursday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. PT.