NAU women blown out at Eastern Washington

CHENEY, Wash. — For the second time this road trip, the Northern Arizona women’s basketball team was done in by a critical first half run, this time at the hands of second-place Eastern Washington on Saturday.

The Lumberjacks fell to the Eagles 73-42 despite 18 points from sophomore Rene Coggins and 16 points from senior Erikka Banks. The loss dropped NAU’s record to 11-14 and 7-7 in the conference.

"The last couple of games we have not been hitting on all cylinders so we’ll regroup for a couple of important home games next week," said head coach Sue Darling. "We need to get everyone clicking and we have a very powerful team when we play hard and we play together. That’s going to be the focus."

Coggins had it going from the first possession, knocking down a long jumper for the first points of the game. She later hit her first of three triples to give NAU a 9-7 lead at the 16:53 mark of the opening half before Eastern Washington used a 7-0 spurt to take the lead for good.

Still the Lumberjacks hung close and trailed by just four, 19-15, following another layup from Coggins with 7:38 remaining. The game turned from there though as the Eagles scored 16 of the final 20 points of the first half for a 35-21 halftime lead, just two days after Idaho scored the final 22 first half points in its win over NAU on Thursday.

After a subpar first half, Banks and the Lumberjacks came out of halftime guns blazing. The Lumberjacks hit their first five attempts from the field including a pair of layups from Banks, and following Coggins’ three-pointer NAU’s halftime deficit was trimmed to nine, 41-32, with 16:50 remaining. Nine points would be the closest the Lumberjacks would get though as the Eagles extended their lead throughout by shooting 51.6 percent in the second half.

Coggins’ 18 points equaled her second-highest total of the season as she shot 7-of-14 from the field while making three of her five attempts from behind the arc. Banks scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half and also moved into seventh all-time in the school record books with 572 career rebounds.

Senior Raven Anderson grabbed 14 rebounds, one shy of her season-high, to lead all players and also recorded three blocks. Sophomore Brittani Lusain tallied a game-high three steals.

NAU shot only 27.1 percent for the game from the field while Eastern Washington, the conference’s leader in field goal and three-point percentage, was hot on the offensive end. The Eagles shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from long distance. EWU also held a 42-37 rebounding edge.