Cheney Free Press -


Eastern women collect first win over Cal Northridge, 73-53



Laura Hughes career-high 21-point night helped the EWU women win their first game of the season last Friday at Reese Court.

The Eastern Washington women's basketball team put one of their best efforts of the season on display last Friday night at Reese Court and earned a long-awaited first victory of the season with a 73-53 conquest of Cal State Northridge.

Senior center Laura Hughes led three Eagles in double-figures with a career-high 21 points for Eastern, now 1-5 with another home game Saturday at 7 p.m. against the University of Idaho.

The game was scheduled for 2 p.m. but the Eastern football team is hosting a 1 p.m. playoff game versus Jacksonville State so the game time was shifted to later in the day,

"We finally played like us," EWU head coach Wendy Schuller wrote in a text following the victory. "It's about time."

Hughes, back after missing last weekend's games, did all of her damage in just 15 minutes off the bench. She was a remarkable 8-of-9 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

"I thought it was a great team effort," Schuller said. "Obviously, Laura comes in after missing some time and it was really nice to see her give us the boost that she did."

Hayley Hodgins, a sophomore guard, added 15 points, making a trio of 3-pointers while snagging four offensive boards. Junior guard Lexie Nelson chipped in 13 points.

Eastern got off to a slow start as Cal State Northridge (2-7) started the game on an 8-2 run. Four points from Hughes and a jumper from Nelson tied the score at 8-8. The Eagles took their first lead, 10-8, on a layup from Hughes at the 11:57 mark. Eastern then went on a 14-4 run to go up 10, 24-14, with 6 minutes, 56 seconds left in the half and withstood a CSUN run that trimmed the lead to 26-22 with 4:16 to go in the first half.

The Eagles led 39-27 at the break and the Matadors kept it close until Eastern got hot and extended their lead to 24 points by the midpoint of the half.

"I thought our whole team bought into what we were trying to do defensively," Schuller said. "We stuck to our scout, and I thought we were the aggressor tonight for the first time this season."

Eastern shot 46.7 percent for the game, limiting the Matadors to a 33.9-percent clip. Eastern converted 14 of its 19 free throw attempts while CSUN finished 7-of-13 at the foul line. Eastern outrebounded Cal State Northridge, 43-33, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds to the visitors' 13.

Ashlee Guay led CSUN with 16 points while Jasmine Johnson added 10.


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