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Ashenfelter's buzzer-beater tops Vandals

 

Paul Delaney

Eastern Washington's Hayley Hodgins defends against Idaho's Christina Salvatore in last Saturday's Eagle win over the Vandals.

Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter drained a jumper with two seconds left to lift the Eastern Washington women's basketball team over visiting University of Idaho, 85-84, last Saturday at Reese Court.

After freshman Jade Redmon grabbed an offensive rebound with 12 ticks remaining, Ashenfelter got the ball reversed to her, driving into the lane from the left wing. Her jump stop sent the Vandals' defender flying, then she calmly drained a jumper from the Big Sky logo below the free throw line.

Idaho's Christina Salvatore missed a jumper as time expired.

Eastern improves to 2-5 with the win while Idaho drops to 7-5 with the loss.

"I thought it was a really good basketball game," EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said. "This is a great win for us."

Ashenfelter led the Eagles in scoring with 20 points, tying her career high. She notched her second career double-double with 10 assists while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.

Senior Laura Hughes  had 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench, finishing 7-of-9 from the field to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. Junior Lexie Nelson chipped in 16 points, tying her career high with four made 3-pointers, while sophomore Hayley Hodgins added 14 points and five boards.

"I like the fact that we have a nice mix of bigs and guards," Schuller said. "We can really get four around one at times and make teams pick their poison."

Eastern took its largest lead of the game, 42-25, after Hodgins' fast-break lay-in at the 4:46 mark of the first half, but the visitors fought back, cutting the Eagles' lead to nine on Alyssa Charlston's 3 with 1:05 left.

The Eagles led 52-43 at the half, but theVandals opened the second half on a 13-0 run, taking a four-point advantage nearly five minutes into the half.

Hughes stopped the visitor's run with a lay-up on a pass from Ashenfelter before a triple from Ashenfelter tied the score at 59-59 at the 13:45 mark. The second half featured 10 lead changes.

Idaho's Addie Schivo converted a 3-point play to give the Vandals a six-point advantage, 82-76, with 3:56 remaining, but a three-point play from Ashenfelter and a free throw from Hughes brought Eastern to within two, 82-80, with 2:15 left. Charlston put Idaho up four on its next possession, but Hodgins buried a triple after her defender left to double Hughes in the paint, cutting the Vandals' lead to one, 84-83, at the 1:50 mark.

The two teams would go scoreless over the remainder of the half until Ashenfelter's game-winning jumper came with two ticks left.

Eastern will face Boise State Friday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. The game was rescheduled from its original 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 tip-off due to EWU's football playoff game with Towson U.

 

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