Eagles Host SMU In Home Opener - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eagles Host SMU In Home Opener

Wendy Schuller is looking to coach EWU to a win over SMU on Saturday. Wendy Schuller is looking to coach EWU to a win over SMU on Saturday.

by Eastern Washington Athletics

The Eastern Washington women's basketball team will play in the friendly confines of Reese Court for the first time this season Saturday, Nov. 16, when SMU comes to Cheney. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.

Eastern (0-1) opened this season's campaign on the road at Portland last Friday, Nov. 8, falling to the host Pilots, 68-65. The Eagles led by nine with eight minutes remaining, but UP rallied to within one, 63-62, at the 2:03 mark thanks in large part to eight trips to the foul line during the stretch. Junior Melissa Williams made a jumper with 1:31 left to put EWU up three, 65-62, only to see the Pilots answer with a bucket on their next trip down the court. After freshman Jade Redmon had her shot blocked with 50 seconds left, Portland was able to corrall two offensive rebounds on its ensuing possession, finally converting a layup to take a one-point lead with 19 seconds left. The Pilots would force a turnover on Eastern's final possession, converting a layup on the other end for the final three-point margin.

Three players scored in double figures for the Eagles against Portland, lead by senior Laura Hughes's game-high 17 points. She played just 18 minutes due to foul trouble, finishing 7-of-12 from the field and grabbing five rebounds. Junior Lexie Nelson poured in 15 points, making a trio of three-pointers, while sophomore Hayley Hodginsadded 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

The Eagles did a nice job of taking care of the basketball, committing just 10 turnovers against the Pilots compared to 20 assists. Only four EWU players were credited with turnovers on the night while seven players recorded at least one assist. Senior Aubrey Ashenfelter and freshman Jade Redmon each tallied five assists.

SMU (2-0) has started its 2013-14 season off with consecutive wins, most recently defeating TCU in overtime on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The Mustangs, members of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, are coming off a 21-win campaigna season ago that resulted in the program's fifth WNIT appearance. Keena Mays is averaging 23.5 points through SMU's two games while Destynee Hives-McCray is averaging a double-double with 10.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.