This archived article was written by: Katie James
Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah Lady Eagles 1-2 over the last few weeks. The ladies had their fans on the edge of their seats, biting their nails, and cheering extra loud. Battles waged with Colorado Northwestern Community College, Salt Lake Community College and Snow College.
At home on Jan. 21, the Eagles gained another win over the CNCC Spartans. The game stayed close until halftime where the Eagles had a 38-31 lead. Both teams played with passion and desire. During the second half, the Eagles outscored the Spartans by two points, 35-33. The end of the game was secured in the final minutes.
The Spartans came within four with two minutes left on the clock. Priscila Santos and Bruna Deichmann pulled off quick jump shots for the Eagles. The game ended with a 73-64 Eagle victory.
Head coach Dave Paur said, “They are a very athletic team and have girls that can score from the perimeter, but they don’t have a big post. They played us very well and never quit, but neither did we.”
Deichmann contributed 22 points with Santos producing 19. Daiana Ferreria had six of the teams nine blocks. The teams had 10 steals.
Heading north towards Bruin country, the team played SLCC last weekend. The first half lacked energy the Eagles usually have. Salt Lake brought their game and pulled ahead five minutes into the half after what seemed like a constant change of score.
Paur said, “We came out tentative with no energy and coupled with the fact that we could not get a call in favor for us that first half.” Heading into the locker room, SLCC led 32-15.
Whatever the coaches said in the locker room changed the team’s attitude. They came back with more fight and fire. “Second half we had a lot of energy, executed, and played the best defense and press of the year,” said Paur. Second half was met with some adversity as Maddi Hind and Christin Figgins experienced injuries.
Paur said, “We had two more field goals, however, we couldn’t make up for the foul shot difference.” The Bruins had an opportunity to shot 28 free throws to the Eagles’ six. The team outscored the Bruins in the second half by three, 25-22.
The scoring proves how strong and crucial the Eagle’s defense is. They held a team averaging 80 points to 54. The game ended 54-40. The final score did not reflect what the Eagles had hoped to accomplish. Despite Hind’s injury, Paur said, “Maddi Hind had the best game of the year.” She had 14 points and Santos 11. Ferreria led the team with three blocks. “SLCC is not the best defensive team, but I was not at all impressed with the officiating,” said Paur.
If any game this year has been a nail bitter, the Snow game takes the cake. Paur called it, “One of those should have, could have wins.” Both sides battled back and forth for the lead. There was never one moment when one team was up by more than 10 points. The lead was constantly changing until halftime with the Badgers up 34-31.
The war waged on during the second half. Paur said, “There was a key call with 40 seconds left that shouldn’t have been called. It put Snow ahead by two. His team in the last seconds did an exceptional job, fouls were called and possession changed fast.” Deichmann hit a free throw to put the game within one.
The last 10 seconds was the most critical and most frustrating. Snow had the ball out of bounds and the Eagles were doing a great job on defense, denying the ball’s entrance. A five-second call on Snow gave the Eagles the ball.
Figgin’s passed into Deichmann, who got tied up and a jump ball was called. Snow received the possession. Another great effort on defense followed and Deichmann achieved a steal. The ref called her out of bounds. Deichmann said, “I feel so…I don’t know.. frustrated. It was like the refs were against us the whole time. It was not fair.”
With four seconds on the clock and Snow up by one, the Eagles needed the ball back. Abbie Kay got a steal as Snow passed in. She dished to Deichmann who went up for a layup and got tangled. No foul was called as the buzzer went off milliseconds later.
Snow won 70-69. “What could we do about that? Nothing. Except get ready for CSI and wait for a rematch with Snow down here,” Paur said. Santos and Deichmann were in double figures with 28 and 27 points.
The Eagles take on Southern and Northern Idaho at home Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.