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Eastern women rally to top SUU

Lexie Nelson scored 22 points and Laura Hughes added 20 points and eight rebounds Saturday as Eastern Washington overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat Southern Utah 78-70 in Big Sky Conference women’s basketball.

Third-place EWU (14-10, 10-5) trailed 52-43 with 15:17 left when Hughes and Aubrey Ashenfelter combined for nine points to spark a 12-3 run.

The Eagles soon took charge with an 8-0 run, led by Chenise Pakootas’ four points.

Louisiana Tech 64, Idaho 62: Whitney Frazier banked in a 3-pointer with .2 seconds left to give the Lady Techsters (12-13, 8-6 Western Athletic Conference) a win over the Vandals (12-14, 9-6) at Ruston, La.

Stacey Barr had game highs of 11 rebounds and 21 points for the Vandals, including a 10-foot bank shot in the lane with 8.4 seconds left to cap a 6-0 run for a 62-61 lead. Idaho, which fell to 0-17 against Louisiana Tech, trailed by eight with 4:32 left.

Whitworth 66, Willamette 53: Emily Travis scored a career-high 23 points and Kendra Lahue added a career-high six 3-pointers as the Pirates (19-6, 12-4 Northwest Conference) capped their regular season with a win over the Bearcats (2-22, 2-13) at Salem.

Whitworth took control with a 26-6 first-half run, capped by Lahue’s two 3-pointers.

No. 3 Whitworth will open the NWC tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday at No. 2 Whitman.

CC Spokane 70, Columbia Basin 59: Riley Holsinger had game highs of 18 points and 13 rebounds as the third-place Sasquatch (15-10, 8-5 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges) defeated the second-place Hawks (13-12, 9-4) at Pasco.

CCS held the Hawks to 8-for-27 shooting from the floor in the second half.

The Sasquatch will complete their regular season Wednesday at home against fourth-place Yakima Valley. The NWAACC tournament begins March 2 in Kennewick.

North Idaho 55, Salt Lake 53: Georgia Stirton and Kabri Emerson combined for 23 points and Renae Mokrzycki had 13 rebounds as the first-place Cardinals (27-2, 12-2 Scenic West Athletic Conference) turned back the host Bruins (16-10, 7-6).

NIC was outscored 12-3 in the final 6:01. Stirton’s 3-pointer with 1:12 left held off Salt Lake. NIC will attempt to win the conference outright when it travels to Southern Idaho (18-11, 11-3) to complete the regular season Saturday. NIC hosts the Region 18 tourney, starting Feb. 28.