@EWUWBB Eyes Win No. 20, Opens Big Sky Tournament Play Against Northern Arizona Wednesday

@EWUWBB Eyes Win No. 20, Opens Big Sky Tournament Play Against Northern Arizona Wednesday
EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES (19-10, 12-6 Big Sky Conference)
- vs. -
NORTHERN ARIZONA LUMBERJACKS (13-16, 9-9 Big Sky Conference)
Game #30
Wednesday, Mar. 11 | 4:30 p.m. PT
Dahlberg Arena (7,200) | Missoula, Mont.
Eastern Washington NotesLive Video | Live Stats

Cheney, Wash. – It's tournament time in the Big Sky Conference.

The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team will make the trek to Missoula, Mont., for the 2015 Big Sky Tournament this week opening play against Northern Arizona in a first-round game this Wednesday, Mar. 11, at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Eastern (19-10, 12-6 BSC) finished tied for third in the league standings with Northern Colorado but earned the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament as the result of its loss to the Bears earlier this season.

The Eagles' 19 wins are tied for the most under 14-year head coach Wendy Schuller and the third-most in a season in EWU's 33-year NCAA Division I history. A win over Northern Arizona Wednesday would give Eastern 20 wins in a season for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign.

Montana will host this year's edition of the tournament after winning the regular season title. Sacramento State and Northern Colorado are seeded second and third, respectively, while North Dakota, Montana State and Idaho State round out the field.

The winner of Eastern-Northern Arizona will square off with either Montana or Idaho State in one of two semifinal games this Friday, Mar. 13, at 12:30 p.m. PT. The championship game is set for Saturday, Mar. 14, at 1 p.m. PT.

EWU enters the tournament with a fair amount of momentum, having won eight of its last 10 games. Included in that stretch was a convincing 73-42 home win over those same Lumberjacks that await the Eagles in Missoula. Eastern shot 49.2 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three-point range against NAU back on Feb. 21, while holding Northern Arizona to 27.1 percent shooting and a 3-of-14 performance from three-point range.

Junior Hayley Hodgins led all scorers with 19 points that day, going 7-of-12 from the field while knocking down three triples. Senior Melissa Williams notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while senior Lexie Nelson chipped in 14 points and three assists.

Northern Arizona (13-16, 9-9 BSC) is having its best season in recent memory, collecting its most wins in a season in eight years. The Lumberjacks have had an up-and-down Big Sky season, losing four of its first six games before winning five of its next six. NAU ended the season losing four of its last six with its four setbacks coming by an average of 27.8 points.

Erikka Banks (13.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and Raven Anderson (12.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) form one of the Big Sky's best frontcourts while Brittani Lusain (10.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.1 apg) is one of the league's most dynamic scorers when she's on her game.

EWU held Lusain scoreless and limited Anderson to four points when they met back in February. Banks and guard Rene Coggins combined for 34 of NAU's 42 points in that game.

Eastern is 1-0 all-time against Northern Arizona in the Big Sky Tournament. The lone match-up between the two teams came back on Mar. 7, 2002, with EWU winning, 70-57, in Ogden, Utah.

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