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Eastern Washington’s Delaney Hodgins on brink of breaking program’s scoring record

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, 5:31 p.m.

Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins, who averaged 22.6 points per game, drives against Idaho on  Jan. 12 in Cheney. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins, who averaged 22.6 points per game, drives against Idaho on Jan. 12 in Cheney. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Take it from her coach: Delaney Hodgins doesn’t like to talk about herself.

This week she has no choice – there’s more history to be made at Reese Court this week, and Hodgins will be making it.

“It’s kind of surreal,” the Eastern Washington senior said ahead of Thursday’s home game against Sacramento State.

Actually, it’s beyond that.

Only a week ago, Bogdan Bliznyuk moved to the top of the EWU men’s career scoring list. Now Hodgins is 15 points away from breaking the record set two years ago by her sister Hayley, who will be in attendance along with the entire Hodgins clan from Pasco.

Then again, Hodgins’ family got a lot bigger in the four years since she arrived in Cheney as a freshman. Whether the record comes on Thursday, or two days later against Portland State, her teammates, coaches and fans will be there to share the moment.

“We’ve all worked together for this,” Hodgins said. “I’m sure there will be some tears.”

The blood and sweat flowed earlier. Hodgins has endured two labral hip surgeries, the most recent last summer. Her success is the product of great genes – her mother played at Washington and professionally in Europe – but mostly an uncommon work ethic.

A star at Chiawana High, the 6-foot forward followed her sister’s path to Cheney and was a starter from Day One.

“She was good when she came here,” EWU coach Wendy Schuller said. “She has a great work ethic, and she’s able to stay focused when she needs to.”

That includes the classroom, where Hodgins carries a 3.86 grade-point average while majoring in health information technology.

Four years later, she’s played 119 games and started every one. Her tally stands at 1,851 points. Hayley, an all-Big Sky Conference guard and now a coach in Richland, had 1,865 when she graduated in 2016.

“I’ve been blessed to have both of them on my teams,” Schuller said.

Hodgins’ biggest strength is her versatility. A strong ball-handler, she also leads the Eagles with 7.7 rebounds per game in addition to her 20.1-point scoring average.

Quietly, she leads by example.

“You just want to be on the court with her,” guard Violet Kapri Morrow said. “She does what she has to do, never a complaint. We see that and we’re all in awe.”

On Tuesday, the Eagles were hard at work for Sacramento State. At 10-11 overall and 5-4 in the Big Sky, the Eagles are scrapping for a top-four finish and a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Coming off a lost weekend at North Dakota and Northern Colorado, Hodgins lamented that the Eagles “took a step back last week.”

Given that, the record won’t mean as much if it comes in a loss. But when it happens, “It’s going to mean a lot to me,” Hodgins said.

Her Eagles career is down to a handful of games, but the future is bright. Last year she got engaged to former EWU football player Zach Bruce – a match set up three years ago by Hayley.

After a wedding in August, she hopes to play in Europe.

“I want to travel as long as I can,” Hodgins said.


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