Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Jordan Buscarini
The USU Eastern Lady Eagles moved into the Scenic West Athletic Conference semifinals with a dominating 69-49 win over the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes Thursday afternoon at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
Entering the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, USU Eastern was matched with the No. 6 Coyotes. After racing out to a 24-13 lead by the end of the first quarter, the Lady Eagles never trailed as they defeated CSN for the fourth time this season.
Sophomore Kacelyn Toomer scored 13 points on 5-14 shooting to lead USU Eastern in the win. Kinlee Toomer once again stuffed the stat sheet as she finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Brooklyn Palmer also crossed the double-digit plateau with 11 points.
Struggling to find consistency from the three-point line, the Lady Eagles hit 20-32 shots from inside the perimeter. The domination inside the paint was more than enough to hold control throughout the 40-minute contest.
USU Eastern won the rebounding battle by 11 as they gathered 37 for the game, nine of which came on the offensive glass. The physical play stretched to the defensive side of the ball as they held Southern Nevada to just 32% from the field for the game.
Sharmayne Finley scored a game-high 17 points for the Coyotes in the season-ending loss. Coraly Dupree logged the game’s only double-double as she finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Thursday’s win moved USU Eastern into the conference semifinals on Friday evening against the No. 2 seed College of Southern Idaho.
Despite winning the season series 2-1, the Lady Eagles finished one game behind CSI in the conference standings. USU Eastern won the first two meetings of the season by double-digits, but suffered an overtime loss to CSI at home on March 18.