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Eagles continue recent surge by slowing down Hornets

Lexie Nelson, Kylie Huerta and Carrie Ojeda combined for 42 points on 17-for-34 shooting from the floor Thursday night in Eastern Washington's 63-49 win over Sacramento State in Big Sky Conference play at Reese Court. EWU avenged an 85-70 loss to the Hornets four weeks ago and climbed within one game of first-place Montana. Huerta provided the biggest sparks during crucial EWU runs. She and Nelson showcased tough defense in holding the Hornets to 5-for-23 shooting on 3-pointers. Read story

Nelson said Eastern's players thought they let the previous game in Sacramento get away from them.

"We definitely didn't play our game and we were disappointed and they played well," she said. ... "We knew (Thursday) we'd have to play fast and play with a lot of energy, and even when things might go wrong just stay composed."

Huerta said she thinks Eagles players started responding more to her after she scored 15 points in a win at Big Sky defending champion Idaho State.

"Even when she wasn't starting, she played a lot of minutes. She played starter-like minutes," Schuller said of Huerta.

Huerta said Eastern's strategy was to break the Hornets' press and slow down their pace.

"We tried to get the shot clock down to waste a lot of time," she said. "When we do that, usually our plan is to go inside and Carrie (Ojeda) had some good finishes."

"I thought we controlled the pace and got the game in the direction and style we wanted to play," Schuller said.

Schuller didn't want to put extra emphasis on the Sacramento State game over any others, but she knew it could end up meaning a lot.

"That was a team that had beaten us earlier in the year at their place so we felt that, just in terms of the conference race, if you want to stay even or ahead of somebody you have to least get a split on the year with them," she said.

The biggest game left on EWU's home schedule appears to be March 7 against Idaho State.

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