Ogden, Utah – The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team saw all five of its starters earn accolades from the Big Sky Conference following a vote by the league's coaches, the conference office announced Tuesday, Mar. 10.
Junior Hayley Hodgins was a First Team All-Big Sky selection while seniors Melissa Williams and Lexie Nelson were Second Team All-Big Sky honorees. Sophomore Jade Redmon earned Honorable Mention All-Big Sky accolades while freshman Delaney Hodgins was named the league's Outstanding Freshman.
Hayley Hodgins leads the Eagles and ranks third in the Big Sky in scoring with an average of 16.7 points per game. She has scored in double figures in 25 of EWU's 29 games this season, scoring at least 20 points eight times while going for a career-high 30 points against Wichita State back on Nov. 18.
She ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (82.0 pct) and eighth in three-point percentage (34.9), and is also one of the top perimeter defenders in the conference, ranking ninth in steals per game (1.7 spg).
"Hayley has stepped up for us in a lot of areas this year," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "She has matured as a scorer, getting better off the dribble and attacking the basket. She's improved a ton defensively and has become one of our defensive stoppers that we put on the other team's best player. She's had a great year, and it's been fun to watch."
Williams has recorded 12 double-doubles this season, including nine in Big Sky play. The conference's top rebounder, she averages a league-best 9.6 boards per game, pulling down at least 10 rebounds in 17 outings. She notched a career-best 17 boards against Montana State on Feb. 17, a mark that is tied for fourth-most in a single game in EWU's NCAA Division I history.
She also ranks ninth in the league in field goal percentage (49.3 pct), 11th in blocked shots per game (1.0 bpg), 15th in steals per game (1.5 spg) and 24th in scoring average (10.7 ppg).
"Melissa is the perfect example of what you hope any player's senior year looks like," said Schuller. "I'm so glad for her that she put in the work and set herself up for a tremendous season. She's been a monster on the boards all year and has shown the ability to score both inside and out, creating a difficult matchup for opposing teams. We've asked her to guard a number of talented post players, and I really enjoy watching her defensively because she does her work early and gets in great position."
Nelson ranks second on the team and eighth in the conference in scoring with an average of 14.3 points per game. She has scored in double figures 20 times this season, scoring at least 20 points eight times. She tied her career high with 29 points against Wichita State on Nov. 18 and scored 28 points in the Eagle's win over Florida on Dec. 22.
She leads the Big Sky and ranks 28th nationally in free throw percentage (85.1 pct) and has made 97 free throws this season. She also ranks sixth in the league in both three-point percentage (35.3 pct) and three-pointers made per game (2.0 3FGM).
"Lexie has been the model of consistency for us throughout her career," said Schuller. "Her work ethic and competitive nature are second to none and she's willing to do whatever we ask of her. She plays so hard and does an amazing job of maximizing her ability. She shoots the ball really well and her range from the three is incredible. She's had to step back as a scorer a little this year as other players have stepped up, but she's a winner first and foremost and puts team success before individual success."
Redmon established herself as one of the Big Sky's rising stars in her second season at Eastern, averaging 10.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 80.8 percent from the free throw line. She scored in double figures 17 times this season, including 12 times in league play.
She became the first player in EWU's NCAA Division I history, male or female, to record a triple-double, notching 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Wichita State back on Nov. 18.
"Jade has continued to improve from her freshman year, and she makes us go," Schuller said. "I've said it before – we go as Jade goes. She's had a really good year, and we've had a nice year, too. She's improved her shooting stroke and is getting better at getting in the lane and finding ways to finish. She's also one of the best rebounding guards I've ever coached and she can be really tough on the defensive end."
Delaney Hodgins has played a vital role for the Eagles this season, starting all 29 games while averaging 28.8 minutes per game. She ranks third on the team and 23rd in the Big Sky in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game. She has scored in double figures 20 times so far this season, including 13 times in league play. She scored a game-high 19 points against conference winners Montana on Feb. 28 and has recorded a pair of double-doubles on the year.
Hodgins leads EWU in blocked shots with 42 rejections, a mark that ranks ninth all-time on Eastern's NCAA Division single-season records list. She also ranks second on the team in steals (45) and third in assists (53) and rebounds (4.9 rpg).
A high-percentage shooter across the board, Hodgins finished the regular season shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from three-point range and 77.9 percent from the free throw line. She has upped her play in Big Sky games, shooting 51.0 percent from the field in league contests.
"Wow, what a year Delaney has had," said Schuller. "She's done so many things for us. I've never had a freshman who could stuff a stat sheet like she can with points, rebounds, blocks, steals and assists. She does a little bit of everything and has stepped up and done whatever we've asked her to do."
The Eagles open play at the 2015 Big Sky Tournament in Missoula, Mont., tomorrow Mar. 11, against Northern Arizona at 4:30 p.m. PT.