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EWU women picked to win

Women’s basketball: The Eastern Washington women’s basketball team has been picked by Big Sky coaches and media to win the conference, following a 19-win season in 2012-13.

Last year, the Eagles were picked to finish eighth in the conference but went 14-6 in the Big Sky (19-3 overall). The team returns four starters including All-Big Sky first-teamer Lexie Nelson and Big Sky Freshman of the Year Hayley Hodgins.

They are joined by returning starters Aubrey Ashenfelter and Kylie Huerta.

The Eagles open the season Nov. 8 at Portland and begin Big Sky play Dec. 29 at home against Portland State. They also play Nov. 20 at Gonzaga.

Thomas Clouse

Stanford chosen to win Pac-12

Women’s basketball: Stanford has been picked by the Pac-12 coaches to win the conference title again this season behind reigning Player of the Year, Chiney Ogwumike.

California is picked to finish second after the Golden Bears reached their first Final Four in program history last season.

Washington State – 11-20 overall last year – was tabbed to finish ninth, while Washington was picked fourth.

The preseason coaches’ poll: Stanford, Cal, Colorado, Washington, UCLA, USC, Utah, Oregon State, Washington State, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon.

Associated Press

Chiefs host twice this weekend

Hockey: The Spokane Chiefs (10-3-0-0, 20 points), who boast the best winning percentage in the Western Hockey League (.769), will host the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight and the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night. Spokane is in the midst of a season-high five straight home games and is 4-1 at the Arena.

Brandon (7-5-0-0) is making its first trip to Spokane in two years.

Defending WHL champion Portland (9-3-0-1, 19 points) is on a six-game winning streak and leads the league with 67 goals, 14 more than any other team. The Winterhawks were 7-2 against Spokane last regular season and swept the Chiefs 4-0 during the second round of the playoffs. The teams have met once this season, a 6-4 Portland home win on Oct. 2.

Chris Derrick