Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Calvin Jensen
No. 15 Utah State Eastern women’s basketball team hosted its annual Eagle Classic inside the BDAC over the weekend. In commanding performances, the Lady Eagles triumphed over Laramie County and Treasure Valley community colleges.
USU Eastern made a statement in the first quarter of the game against Laramie, jumping out to a 19-8 lead. Japrix Weaver led the charge with an impressive 8-11 shooting, including two three-pointers, accumulating 19 points in the game. Weaver’s scoring was complemented by several of her teammates as Eastern showcased a 44.4% field goal percentage in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Utah State Eastern extending its lead, outscoring Laramie County 20-6. Summer Christensen contributed to the offensive onslaught, hitting key shots and finishing the game with four points, five rebounds and two assists. Olivia Nielson’s strong presence in the paint also played a crucial role, finishing the game with eight rebounds and four points.
Heading into halftime, Utah State Eastern had built a substantial 39-14 lead, displaying an impressive 43.8% field goal percentage in the second quarter. Laramie County struggled to find its rhythm, shooting just 22.2% from the field during this period.
The third quarter maintained the momentum for USU Eastern, with the team’s defense stifling Laramie County. Hadley Humpherys dominated the boards, securing a total of 16 rebounds in the game. The third quarter ended with a 53-19 lead for the Lady Eagles.
Laramie County showed some signs of life in the fourth quarter, outscoring Eastern 13-10. Despite this late push, Utah State Eastern’s lead was insurmountable, ultimately securing a decisive 63-32 victory.
In back-to-back contests, USU Eastern continued its undefeated streak, improving to 7-0 with a dominating 82-46 win over Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC).
From the opening tip-off, Utah State Eastern demonstrated its powerful offense, outscoring TVCC 23-10 in the first quarter. Ellie Esplin took her turn to shine in for the Eagles, connecting on 6-10 shots, including two three-pointers, accumulating 16 points in just 20 minutes of play. The home team displayed a 45.5% field goal percentage in the first quarter, which would never be matched by the Chukars.
The second quarter witnessed a balanced offensive effort from Utah State Eastern, with McKenzie Allen showcasing her scoring ability with 12 points and six assists. The Lady Eagles’ 50% shooting from the field in the second quarter helped them extend their lead to 41-23 at halftime.
TVCC attempted a comeback in the third quarter, but Eastern’s defense held firm, limiting the visitors to only 13 points. Japrix Weaver’s dominant presence in the paint along with Hadley Humphery’s rebounding kept Treasure Valley at bay. Weaver finished the game with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Humpherys added eight points and 10 rebounds. Brinlee McRae continues to play a big role in Eastern’s success with 14 points, including two three-point shots.
The final quarter saw the Lady Eagles closing out the game with the same energy they started, outscoring the Chukars 18-10. The team’s 43.8% shooting from the field and solid free-throw shooting sealed the victory, extending their undefeated streak.
Utah State Eastern (7-0, 0-0) will battle to remain undefeated as they take part in the SLCC Thanksgiving Tournament held in Taylorsville, Utah on Nov. 24-25. Up first for the Eagles will be Odessa College (5-2, 0-0) at 1 p.m. on Friday. Then, on Saturday, USU Eastern will face off against Eastern Wyoming College (3-2, 1-1), which will also begin at 1 p.m.
Eagle fans can watch the action live on the Scenic West Digital Network.