Big Sky Figures to Remember

“Big Sky figures to remember” – Delaney Hodgins, EWU


At Skyline Sports, we love the stories that emerge from one of the most authentic conferences in the West. The Big Sky Conference is steeped in history and heroes, holding a mystique that is unique to a conference featuring as many rural yet state-funded institutions in the United States.

One of our primary goals at Skyline Sports is the archiving of history across the state of Montana and across the Big Sky. In an effort to make sure we never forget some of the most pivotal and influential figures in the 58-year history of the league, we are introducing a quick-hitting series about those who graced the Big Sky.

We will touch on players we’ve been able to cover (particularly in photograph) during our seven years covering the league as an entity (categorized as “Skyline Era”. We will also remember players from Colter Nuanez’s first seven years covering the league (2006-2013) during his time working in newspapers and magazines (categorized as Modern Era).

And we will also chronicle memorable figures from before we covered the league professionally or before we watched the league at all or even from before we were born thanks to the help of our great friends and colleagues from across the Big Sky (categorized as “Archived Era”).

Please enjoy “Big Sky Conference figures worth remembering”

The Character

Delaney Hodgins, Eastern Washington sharpshooter and one of six 2,000-point scorers in Big Sky Conference women’s basketball history.  

The Timeline

Hodgins is a native of Pasco, Washington in the Evergreen State’s Tri-Cities who played for the Eastern Washington women’s basketball team from 2015-2018.

The product of Chiawana High School followed in the footsteps of her sister, Hayley Hodgins, herself the 11th-leading scorer in Big Sky women’s hoops history with 1,865 points.

The Measurables

Delaney Hodgins was a 6-foot forward who could create her own shot from anywhere on the court, helping her become EWU’s all-time leader in scoring, free throw makes and attempts, field goal makes and attempts.

She was a versatile player who could guard most positions on the floor and score from every area on the court.

The Landscape

Former Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins (4) in 2018/by Brooks Nuanez

When Delaney Hodgins first broke into the league, the Montana Lady Griz were in the midst of their latest run to the NCAA Tournament. The second-to-last UM team under 38-year head coach Robin Selvig advanced to the NCAA Tournament, but the following year, the Big Sky Tournament moved to a neutral sit.

During Selvig’s tenure, Montana advanced to the NCAA Tournament 21 times, including hosting the Big Sky Tournament 16 times in the 21-year history up to that last tournament in Missoula.

When the tournament moved first to a neutral site in Reno, Nevada, the wide-open style of EWU head coach Wendy Schuller helped accentuate the skill set of the Tri-Cities sharpshooting sisters for the Eagles. And the Eagles were always competitive on the tournament floor.

Delaney Hodgins was a key contributor — and in the last two seasons, the leader — of a team that finished as high as second and never as low as fourth in the regular-season during her career.

During the last three seasons, Hodgins helped Eastern earn a pair of semifinal berths in the Big Sky tournament. Hodgins earned all-tournament honors as a sophomore and junior for the Eagles.

The Accolades

Hodgins was one of the most prolific in the history of Big Sky Conference basketball, men or women.

Former Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins (4) in 2018/by Brooks Nuanez

Her 2,120 points shattered her older sister’s EWU record and her name appears in the Big Sky record book more than three dozen times. Only Idaho’s Mikayla Ferenz (2,465), Idaho State’s Natalie Doma (2,296) and Montana’s Shannon Cate (2,172) scored more points in Big Sky history than Delaney Hodgins.

Perhaps the most prestigious record belonging to Hodgins is the single-game scoring record. On March 2, 2018, Hodgins poured in 46 points against Northern Arizona. A total of six players had scored exactly 41 points before Hodgins’ outburst, including Cate (1991), Portland State’s Kelsey Kahle (2007), Montana State’s Katie Bussey (2012), Northern Arizona’s Amy Patton (2012), Ferenz (2017) and Sac State’s Maranne Johnson (2018).

Hodgins earned Big Sky Freshman of the Year before becoming one of 39 players who have been selected to the Big Sky’s All-Conference teams at least three times, including only five four-time picks.

Of the 36 players to earn All-Big Sky honors three times, the Hodgins sisters are two of those honorees. From the 2014-15 season through the 2017-18 season, the Hodgins sisters occupied one of the first-team All-Big Sky slots, each garnering top recognition twice.

During Hayley’s senior year in 2016 (Delaney’s sophomore year), the younger Hodgins sister also earned second-team all-league accolades.

Former Eastern Washington players Hayley (23) and Delaney Hodgins (4) in 2016/by Brooks Nuanez

It’s an extension of a family legacy. Their mother Karen (Murray) Hodgins, finished her career as the all-time leading scorer at the University of Washington when her career ended in 1984. And that record stood for 11 years until Rhonda Smith broke it.

Only Kelsey Plum, Jazmine Davis, Jamie Redd, Giuliana Mendiola and Talia Walton have scored more points than Smith And Murray over the last 35 years. Murray Hodgins was the first women’s basketball player ever inducted into the UW Hall of Fame back in 1992.

Braydey Hodgins, the third of Michael and Karen’s daugthers, was a multiple-time All-Mountain West selection at Boise State Braydey scored 1,150 points during her career, earning preseason All-MWC honors entering her senior season last winter.

The Press


On the night Delaney broke Hailey’s record

“Tonight was special. I feel blessed to have coached both Hodgins’ sisters. I’m happy for Delaney and I hope we can make this a year to remember too,” EWU head coach Wendy Schuller said. “Delaney is consistent, from the day she stepped on the floor she contributed. We never needed her to be a big-time scorer early on in her career, but she stepped up when we needed her too. Nothing she does surprises me, and I’m happy for her.”

On Hodgins’ senior night

“From day one she’s been consistent,” Schuller said. “She has such a great work ethic, and cares so much about it. She’s a great student. People don’t understand what a great student she is. She’s been a great player for us.”

Total appearances in the Big Sky Record Book: 30, including –

Former Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins (4) in 2018/by Brooks Nuanez
  • Most points in a single game, 46, in March of 2018
  • Best single-game 3-point percentage (7-of-7, same game)
  • Sixth-most points in a single-season, 692 in 2018
  • Seventh in games played, 129
  • Seventh in blocked shots, 188
  • Fourth in field goals made, 784
  • Four straight years as an academic All-Big Sky selection

Why you should remember

Coming to Eastern Washington and following in the footsteps of her record-setting sister came with plenty of pressure. Hodgins never succumbed to any of it.

She filled the role she was asked as a young player before becoming one of the greatest scorers in the history of EWU or the Big Sky by the time she was an upperclassmen. Her poise, her ability to score from literally every spot on the court and her steady progression throughout her outstanding career makes her a player worth remembering in the modern history of the Big Sky Conference.

Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.

Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins (4) blocks out Portland State point guard Ashley Bolston (0) during the 2018 Big Sky Tournament/by Brooks Nuanez
Former Eastern Washington forward Delaney Hodgins (4) in 2018/by Brooks Nuanez
Eastern Washington junior Delaney Hodgins boxes out Idaho’s Geraldine McKorkell during the 2017 Big Sky Tournament/ by Brooks Nuanez
Eastern Washington’s Delaney Hodgins in 2016/ by Brooks Nuanez

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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