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January 29, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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January 29, 2015

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Page 4 Section 2 Free Press Thursday, January 29, 2015 Eagle women take rugged trip to Northern Colorado, North D= kota EWU gets roughed up, fails for third in a row in Big Sky play By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Just getting to and from the most eastern part of the Big Sky Conference is a challenge. But combine it with a 0-2 record and that makes the journey all the more difficult to handle. The Eastern Washington University womens' basketball team first endured a pair of disappoint- ing losses, to Northern Colorado 64-56 last Thursday night and then a 96-82 setback in Grand Forks to North Dakota, Saturday, bringing their current streak to three. Then they had to get home. "Just the .trip home, we had to be at the airport about 5:15 (a.m.)yesterday (Jan. 25) so we left the hotel at 5," EWU head basketball coach Wendy Schuller said. "We were up at 4:30 so that's 2:30 Pacific (time)." Their flight took them to Denver where there was a four-hour layover. "Oooff," Schuller said. All after being in their game with UND (5-2, 11- "I thought both games of this road trip, the difference was what hap- pened in the paint." EWU head coach Wendy Schuller 6), trailing 46-42 at the half, but seeing the hosts make a 16-8 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half and build a comfortable cushion. Eastern would get it down to a seven-point margin at 76-69 with 3 minutes, 49 seconds to play but got no doser in the game at the Betty Engelstad Center. Critical at UND, as was the case against Northern Colorado, were points in the paint. Against North Dakota the Eagles (4-3 Big Sky, 11-7 overall)were outscored 34-22 inside and 36-26 in Greeley to the Bears. "I thought both games of this road trip, the differ- ence was what happened in the paint," Schuller said. "Whether it was us not getting the ball inside, offensively the way we needed to so we could get some easy baskets there, to us defensively giving them too many." That spoiled the offensive efforts of senior Lexie Nel- son who scored 24 points, and that of sophomore Jade Redmon who added 23. While North Dakota shot 53.3 percent, and was led by the 19 points from Mia Loyd, Eastern connected on slightly over 40 and just 14.3 per- cent from 3-point range. Opening the trip Eastern was tied 49-49 on a Redmon basket with 8:24 to play. But D'Shara Strange, who's been a thorn in the side of the Eagles in recent games, scored a put-back basket that set in n otion an 11-0 run that gave UNC a 60-49 lead. Eastern would climb back to within six at 62-56 but a pair of Strange free throws with five seconds to play decided things. She led all scorers with 22 points. Freshman Delaney Hodgins led Eastern with 13 points while Redmon added 12 and Nelson 11. Some of those numbers reflect a little on problems in the paint, SchuUer said. This has not been a surprise as she said her team is just a little under-matched and under- sized inside. "We're a little more perimeter-oriented," she said. "We're just thin inside." Schuller will look for ways to help her team "Get our mojo back." It's that "mojo" that led to a seven-game Eastern winning streak, and a 4-0 Big Sky start. She hopes that comes this Saturday afternoon on the road at the University of Idaho. Tip off is at 2 p.m. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@c ss. com_. ,4 continued from page 1 blocked shots filling in for Jois. Leading 50-27 at half- time, Eastern picked up where they left off with a 14-6 run and had that 31-point lead at 64-33 with 13:40 left. The Bears followed with a 13-2 run and pulled within nine late in the contest, but Eastern made 13 Of its last 17 points from the free throw line. Eastern held UNC's starters to just 22 points, including a 0-10 perfor- mance by leading scor- er Tevin Svihovec who came in averaging 13.0 points per game. "Drew (Brandon) has been playing really well and we did a lotof study- ing on them," Hayford said. "I thought Parker seniors continued from page 1 a linebacker or any other defensive position. Cody McCarthy fought through both injuries and a diagnosis of diabetes, but emerged as a four-year starter. Baldwin offered his All-American punter, Jake Miller, time off during the winter to attend a concert. "He wanted to go to a Tool concert real bad," Baldwin said. But Miller earned it for his extra work, including subbing for injured place- kicker Tyler McNanny in the Montana State game. Long-snapper Cory A1- canter got accolades for always doing "what he was asked," Baldwin said. Few people rarely paid attention to the Riverside, Calif. na- =============================================== ~!i tive, Baldwin said, "Until he messes up." But blocked kicks of any kind rarely happened with Alcanter on duty. Zack Johnson, a de- fensive end, transferred to Eastern from Washington State, wanted to "just have a shot" and was" an incred- ible fit," Baldwin said. Seattle's Isaiah Jenkins never shied away from the grind, Baldwin said of the safety who rarely saw much playing time. Austin Ehlo transferred to Eastern from Whitworth, but was in the unenviable position of wide receiver on an already deep and tal- ented depth chart. Despite this, "He wanted to finish with this group," Baldwin said of the Lewis and Clark High School grad. Kent, Wash's. Laren Wright, like Elxlo, was a wide receiver, but also a walk-on who sports a 3.55 GPA. While down the depth chart, Wright was a warrior who never missed a workout. Baldwin hopes to have defensive end Evan Day back in 2015 and back on stage if a peti- tion to the NCAA is suc- cessful for a sixth year to compensate for time lost to injury. Sammamish, Wash. center Jase Butorac con- cluded an injury-plagued career: As a back-up cen- ter earlier in his career, Butorac "Prepped like he was taking every snap," Baldwin said. Cory Mitchell fought through injuries in his Eastern career, but in limited time Mitchell caught important touch- downs and "Was so re- spected by teammates," Baldwin said. Dylan Zylstra, sported long hair as a player but had a new more tradition- al haircut that surprised some. Emcee Larry Weir didn't recognize Zlystra's new look. Last on the list was record-setting linebacker Ronnie Hamlin. Baldwin got a good laugh when he was sure Hamiln, who earned a sixth year of eligibility, was initially recruited by former EWU coach Dick Zomes and ar- rived on campus in 1995. Baldwin extolled Hamlin for his "quiet humbleness who led by example." (Other EWU football awards are found in the West Plains Scoreboard) Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. com. did a really good job on Cameron Michael who has been playing really well - he limited him to five points and forced backcourt turnovers." The flip side of the defense was bench points where the Bears out- scored the Eagles 63-20, including 21 from Tim Huskisson who averaged 10.6 points coming in and Jordan Wilson's 20, many from NBA 3-point range, after a 9.3 per game average prior. Eastern struggled in the first half Saturday against UND (2-5, 6-12), trailing 41-35 at the half. But Brandon, Miljkov- ic and Bliznyuk caught fire in a 67-point second half for the Eagles. "At halftime I said, 'we are within six and no one likes how we are playing," Hayford said. "Bogdan, you went 2-for-9 in the first hall if we can get you nine looks are you going to score?' He said, 'yes.' I said, 'O.G., you haven't scored yet - if we get you the ball are you go- ing to score?' He said, 'yes." Miljkovic and Bliznyuk each scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the second half with Bliznyuk ending with 25 for the game. Brandon had no points in the first half, but fin- ished with 11 points, a career-high 13 assists and eight rebounds, just shy of the very rare triple- double. Harvey, who strug- gled with just 10 first half points led all scorers again in the game with 26. He made 6 of 7 shots in the second half during EWU's 74-percent shoot- ing exhibition. "I thought the second half was our best 20 min- utes of basketball this season," Hayford said. "We were really good offensively and executed well," in front of a loud Alumni Day crowd of 2,097. Eastern shot 24 of 28 from the free throw line Saturday and were a com- bined 50-57 or 87 percent in both games matching the league-leading .872 percentage in which they entered the weekend. The Eagles won for the first time in five tries in Big Sky play against North Dakota and its first win against the school since 1981. P au l D elaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. COm. 1' Q