RENO, Nevada – A long road trip, a late game and a hot-shooting opponent conspired against the Eastern Washington University women's basketball team as it fell 82-73 to Portland State Wednesday (March 7) in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament at the Reno Events Center.
The No. 6 Vikings, who made eight-straight shots in the third quarter during a game-deciding 23-10 run, advance to play Idaho in the semifinals. The third-seeded Eagles are now 17-14 on the season after closing the conference season with a 12-6 record and four-game winning streak.
"Obviously, it's disappointing for us. I think at the end of the day, we didn't defend the way we've defended in the games where we have had great success. We were reactive instead of trying to dictate what the other team did. We had some early fouls that made us have to adjust how we were guarding," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "A lot of times, our offense gets going by what we do on the defensive end. When we were getting stops, we were in good shape. We got out into passing lanes and made good things happen, but tonight wasn't who we are. Portland State deserves credit because they played a great game, they attacked and took us out of things and that was a big difference."
Eastern senior Delaney Hodgins broke her sister's record for single season points, but she was held to 15 against the Vikings on 6-of-17 shooting. She has now scored 692 points this season, eclipsing the 680 points of Hayley Hodgins two seasons ago. In the process, Delaney moved into third in Big Sky history, moving up three spots. She now has 2,120 points to remain ranked third in league history.
In her last outing, Hodgins went a perfect 7-for-7 from behind the three-point line against Northern Arizona to set a new Big Sky single-game record with 46 points. She made her last two against Southern Utah one game earlier and her first two against PSU, thus, had a streak of 11-straight makes from the 3-point arc ended late in the first quarter versus the Vikings.
The Eagles have been on the road for more than a week, choosing to stay on the road after sweeping Southern Utah and Northern Arizona last Wednesday and Friday. Then, they had to wait all day until Wednesday at 8 p.m. to finally play their tourney opener.
Eastern led by as many as eight in the first quarter, but eventually trailed at halftime 37-35. The Vikings led by just one when it went on their 23-10 run to take a 64-50 lead with 2:09 to play. Portland State led by no less than nine and by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Uriah Howard led Eastern with a career-high 22 points. Violet Kapri Morrow, a third-team all-league pick, added 14 points, and freshman Brittany Klaman chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.