Cheney, Wash. - The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team exploded for 25 first-quarter points and never looked back, using stifling defense to defeat visiting Air Force, 65-44, Sunday afternoon, Nov. 15. This victory marked the 200th career win for head coach Wendy Schuller.
Eastern improves to 2-0 with the win, while the loss drops Air Force to 0-2.
Coming out of the gates hot, the Eagles ended the first quarter with a 25-13 lead, and finished the half up 37-23, while shooting 45.5% from the field. They held the Falcons to 32.3% shooting, and made their greatest impact on the defensive side of the ball. With seven steals, five blocks, and 12 overall turnovers, Eastern forced Air Force into plenty of mistakes that helped give them their 14 point lead heading into the second half.
The strong defense continued into the third quarter where EWU scored 11 points off of 14 Air Force turnovers. The Eagles once again forced the Falcons into 32% shooting, as they tried to claw their way back into the game; but junior Tisha Phillips put it out of reach, scoring nine of the team's 14 points in the 4th quarter.
Senior Hayley Hodgins led the team with 20 points, her second straight game of at least 20 or more. She shot 8-of-14 from the field, and made two three-pointers to go along with six steals and three blocks.
Sophomore Delaney Hodgins made her impact in the first half, scoring all 14 of her points over the opening 20 minutes. She was all over the glass as well, tallying seven total rebounds, with an additional three steals.
Freshman Violet Kapri Morrow led the team in rebounds with eight total, and added on seven points of her own.
Junior Tisha Phillips was the main ball distributor, with four assists on the game, as well as scoring nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.
EWU shot 42.6% from the field compared to 32.1% for Air Force. The Eagles made the most out of their chances while limiting those of their opponents, with 11 second chance points over one for the Falcons.
Defense was a major bright spot on the game, as Eastern forced 25 turnovers, including 12 steals and eight blocks while never giving up a lead.
Quoting Coach Schuller
"I thought we played extremely hard, and disrupted their offense quite a bit, and made things happen. Our goal is to make teams uncomfortable running their own offense, and I think our team did a pretty good job of that today."
"We got ourselves going by extending our defense early, and our players have really bought into playing that way, and I think that gets us going, and really gets our energy up. It definitely gave us a jump start today, and set us up offensively, scoring 25 points in the first quarter."
Hayley Hodgins has now scored in double figures in 18 straight games dating back to last season.
Eastern improved to 108-13 all-time under coach Schuller when holding opponents under 60 points.
Looking to continue its win streak, EWU will head into the McCarthey Center on Thursday, Nov. 19 for a game against Gonzaga. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. PST.