USU Eastern Press Release
PRICE – Utah State Eastern women’s basketball won its fifth straight game on Saturday by defeating the Bellevue College Bulldogs 60-45 in Taylorsville. The Eagles had a better start on Saturday in comparison to Friday but shot 26.3 % from the field in the first quarter.
After leading the Bulldogs 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles had multiple turnovers and did not score until 7:30 left in the second quarter. With under six minutes to play in the half, the Eagles went on a solid 8-0 run led by freshman Rylie Tobiasson’s six points off the bench.
“Rylie did well for us. It was great to see her play confident and she was definitely a spark for us,” said USU Eastern head coach Chelsey Warburton.
Defensively, the Eagles got two blocks and eight steals in the first half to help build their lead. The Eagles headed to the half with a 28-21 lead despite only shooting 33 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from three point territory.
USU Eastern outscored the Bulldogs 16-12 and forced six turnovers in the third quarter and led by as much as 16 points at one point.
“During halftime, we decided as a team to come out and play our game. We started to work together and find the open player,” said Tobiasson.
Bellevue pushed the Eagles but ultimately could not overcome the double-digit deficit. Freshman Lamija Coric scored nine of her 14 points in the final seven minutes of the game to help the Eagles hold a firm grip on the lead. Coric was both the leading scorer and rebounder on Saturday after finishing with seven rebounds.
“Lamija is a really great player and she’s really fun to play with. She’s the type of player that isn’t afraid to step up especially when the game is close,” said Tobiasson.
Another reason for the Eagles big win was the bench production. The USU Eastern benched scored 27 points with impactful performances by Tobiasson, Lainee Jensen and Abby Butler. Butler scored six points and grabbed five rebounds while Jensen had seven points, three rebounds and two steals. “The bench will always be an important role for our team and how we play. We have a lot of options which is a great thing,” said Warburton.
Tobiasson was second on the team in scoring with a career-high eight points. “It’s always a good feeling to know that you are helping the team. I always have the mindset that when I come off the bench I have to make a positive impact and help the team the best I can,” said Tobiasson.
The Eagles now have an 8-1 overall record as they head into their last week of games in November. Warburton said that the Eagles have been able to overcome the lack of experience on the team and injuries to win games but have more room to grow and improve as they enter December.
“We have been able to win close games as a young group but need to be more consistent from the free throw line and limit our turnovers,” said Warburton.
The Eagles will head to Riverton, Wyoming this week to take part in the Bailey Tire and Auto Service Classic. On Thursday, they will play Central Wyoming at 7 p.m. and then take on Western Wyoming at 5 p.m. on Friday. Warburton and the Eagles defeated Central Wyoming 64-41 earlier this season at home. Both games will be broadcasted on the Central Wyoming Athletics YouTube channel.