Ogden, Utah – The Eastern Washington women's basketball team wrapped up its 2013-14 regular season with a convincing win at Weber State, 68-60, in a Big Sky counter at the Dee Events Center on Saturday, Mar. 8.
Eastern (16-13, 12-8 Big Sky) finishes fourth in the Big Sky standings and will make the trek to Grand Forks, N.D., next week for the conference tournament. The Eagles will take on fifth-seed Idaho State in a quarterfinal game on Thursday, Mar. 16, at 5:30 p.m. PST.
Weber State (7-22, 3-17 BSC) sees its season come to an end with the loss.
"We're excited to be going to the Big Sky Tournament for the fifth straight season," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "It's a new season for every team that will be there, and we're excited to have the opportunity to see what we can do. We know Idaho State will bring energy and effort, and I'm confident that we'll match it."
Redshirt junior Lexie Nelson led four Eagles in double figures with 20 points, shooting 6-of-12 from the field and knocking down four of seven three pointers.
Redshirt sophomore Hayley Hodgins made a pair of triples to finish with 13 points while junior Melissa Williams tallied her fifth double-double of the year with a 10-point, 10-rebound effort.
Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter narrowly missed out on her fifth career double-double, registering 11 points and nine rebounds. Fellow senior Laura Hughes chipped in eight points in 15 minutes off the bench, making all six of her free throws.
Ashenfelter has now played in 121 career games, tied for the most in school history.
The opening four minutes saw three lead changes and one tie, but a lay-up from Williams at the 16:26 mark ignited an 11-0 run over the next four minutes as EWU took the lead for good and never looked back.
Weber State would cut the Eagles' advantage to one, 23-22, at the 4:56 mark, but Eastern used an 11-6 run over the final five minutes to take a 34-28 lead into halftime.
The Wildcats would get no closer than five points the rest of the way as EWU's lead ballooned to as many as 14 points in the second half.
"I was proud of our team for continuing to battle," Schuller said. "I thought we handled their pressure well, and we kept our composure when they made a run."
The Eagles were incredibly efficient from the free throw line, shooting 20-of-21 from the charity stripe, including a perfect 15-of-15 in the second half.
EWU connected at a 40.4-percent clip from the field and made six of 17 three-pointers.
Weber State was held to just 33.3 percent shooting in the second half as Eastern stepped up its defensive effort over the final 20 minutes.
The Wildcats narrowly outrebounded the Eagles, 37-35, and pulled down 14 offensive boards to EWU's nine.
Eastern committed 12 turnovers while forcing Weber State into 11 miscues.
Amanda Hughes led all scorers with 21 points while Regina Okoye added 14 points.