Pair of Eagle basketball players recognized for hard work on and off the court
Senior forward Cliff Ederaine of the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team and junior center Carrie Ojeda from the women’s squad were selected as the Scholar-Athletes of the Month for February.
This award, presented by the EWU Athletic Department, recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.
Ederaine, a transfer from College of the Sequoias in California and a 2008 graduate of Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., has maintained a 3.2 cumulative grade point average in his two years at Eastern.
Ojeda, a 2009 graduate of Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash., has shown incredible turnaround, both on the court and in the classroom, in her junior campaign. As a criminal justice major, Ojeda had the best quarter of her Eagle career this fall, earning a 3.57 GPA, which she has maintained through the first part of the winter quarter as well.
More on Ederaine
Ederaine helped lead Eastern to a 3-5 record in January, averaging 11.1 points on 49.3 percent shooting from the field. He also averaged 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocked shots per game in the month.
He had a splendid outing in a 76-69 loss to Weber State on Jan. 5, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, a career-high five steals and a pair of blocked shots. He had no turnovers in 34 minutes.
In Big Sky Conference statistics, Ederaine is second in rebounding (8.2), 16th in scoring (11.1), 11th in field goal percentage (.492), fourth in blocked shots (1.0), ninth in assists (3.0), sixth in steals (1.5) and fourth in offensive rebounds (2.5).
Ederaine has had six double-doubles this season – three in his last four games – and has had six in his career. He had 15 points and 18 rebounds (fourth-most in school history) against Sacramento State on Feb. 4, and had 11 points and 13 boards one game earlier versus Northern Arizona on Feb. 2. He also had six assists in each game. His other double-doubles this season included 10 points and 13 boards against Montana on Jan. 26, 12 points and 12 rebounds versus Northern Colorado on Jan. 14 and 11 points and 11 rebounds against Linfield on Dec. 8.
After leading Eastern to a pair of late November victories, Ederaine was selected as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Nov. 29. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound senior forward averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and two blocks per game as the Eagles notched a road win over Hawai’i (89-72) on Nov. 22, and topped UC Davis (79-59) on Nov. 27 in Cheney.
More on Ojeda
Although she has been a major contributor throughout the 2011-12 season, Ojeda really broke onto the scene in the month of January, averaging 12.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game. She helped lead the Eagles to a 6-2 record through the first half of the Big Sky season, which they have since improved to 9-2.
Ojeda had three double-doubles during the month, including an 18-point, 10-rebound effort in Eastern’s 75-67 win on the road against defending Big Sky regular-season champion, and preseason favorite, Portland State. For that that performance, Ojeda was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the first time in her career. She is one of three different EWU women’s basketball players to receive the weekly honor this season.
In a 74-56 rout of Northern Arizona on Jan. 7, Ojeda posted a career-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. In Eastern’s very next game against Sac State, the 6-1 center grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the team to a 78-62 victory at Reese Court.
Ojeda was also instrumental in Eastern’s historic sweep of the Montana road trip, as she averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals in back-to-back wins at Montana (Jan. 26) and Montana State (Jan.28).
Ojeda currently leads the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots, averaging 1.9 per game, and ranks among the top 10 in rebounding (6.8) and field goal percentage (47.1). She has registered five double-doubles this year - the most of any player on the Eagle squad.