This archived article was written by: Katie Bigelow
USU Eastern’s Lady Eagles had a tough finish to round one of conference games. On their home court, the Lady Eagles played North Idaho College and College of Southern Idaho over the Jan. 20-21 weekend. They then traveled to Rangeley to start round two, playing Colorado Northwestern Community College.
North Idaho was sitting in first place in conference standings. Head Coach Dave Paur said, “They are a good team. We are a good team.” USU Eastern had a slow start against the Cardinals not scoring until a jumper by Priscila Santos in the seventeenth minute, with a score of 2-7. Finally the scores bounced back and forth with the Lady Eagles pulling ahead 31-27 at half time.
During the second half, the Eagles stayed ahead by 5-10 points. NIC pulled the gap closer with 10 minutes left in the game. The Lady Eagles were down 54-53 when Santos hit a jump shot with 30 seconds to go. NIC took a jump shot and got fouled. Making the basket and sending them to the line to shoot free throws. It extended the Cardinals lead to 57-55.
Eastern had 10 seconds left on the clock. Making a fast break down, NIC got a steal ending the game.
“We let that one slip away. The turning point was when we didn’t get that offensive rebound, fouled them and they got two shots. It was a pretty weak call, but the ref called it. That pretty much did us in,” Paur said. Santos had 28 points with Hailee Parry and Caitlin Nelson 9. The team had 24 offensive rebounds and a total of 44 rebounds. Amy Arbon had 7 of the teams 24 offensive rebounds.
“We have to play them two or three more times; at their place, ours, and hopefully in the region tournament. Snow and Salt Lake are emerging and Colorado is dangerous too,” said Paur
College of Southern Idaho was a bounce back from Friday’s game. By half time, the Eagles were ahead by 10, 32-22. Towards the 15-minute mark, CSI closed the gap to 5. Eastern was able to hold onto the lead the rest of the game and win 62-50. Santos had 29 points with Nelson 11. The team had 12 steals. “Our defense was solid the second half. Pretty much shut them down. It was a good effort,” said Coach Paur.
On Jan. 27, the Eagles took the road to Rangeley, Colo. “Colorado is very dangerous over there. They’ve played close in four games. It could have gone either way in any of those four. Colorado just struggles to finish games,” said Coach Paur.
The Lady Eagles started strong. “We went out with intensity the first half.” Eastern had a 10-point lead at half time 33-23. In the second half, the team allowed Colorado to close the gap, tying the score 49-49 with just a few minutes left in the game.
“At the end of the game Colorado didn’t make the plays they needed to beat us,” said Paur. The game ended 56-54 in favor of Eastern. “I don’t think we played with enough intensity the second half. It will be an interesting game on Friday for Colorado against Snow College.” Santos had 27 points with Nelson and Abbie Kay 11.
This weekend the Lady Eagles host Salt Lake Community College and Snow College at home. “We may have surprised them when we went to their place. Our defense is good enough to beat both them. It will be good games against good teams.” Paur said