Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Jordan Buscarini
The wins continue to come for the USU Eastern Lady Eagles as the team ran its unbeaten record to 5-0 after winning three games in three days during an Arizona road trip over the weekend.
Tested at various times throughout the road trip, USU Eastern turned in three solid performances as they outscored their opponents 231-119. The impressive stretch, coupled with last week’s 2-0 start, also gave the Lady Eagles a boost in the national rankings, climbing from 22 to 15 in the latest poll released Monday morning.
Starting the trek off right, the Lady Eagles earned a 63-49 win over Mesa Community College on Thursday. Capturing its first advantage midway through the first quarter, USU Eastern never looked back as they won each of the four quarters in the double-digit win.
Japrix Weaver led all scorers with 15 points, shooting an efficient 6-10 from the field, including 3-7 of deep. Summer Christensen scored 12 points and Olivia Nielson ended with 10 off the bench in the well-balanced offensive performance.
Leaving Mesa with a win on Thursday, the team traveled to Phoenix for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday by participating in the Bears Tip-Off Showcase.
Starting the showcase off against host school Phoenix College, the Lady Eagles immediately flexed their muscles with a powerful 79-42 win behind a dominant second half performance.
Holding a slim 29-25 lead at the end of the first half, USU Eastern outscored Phoenix 30-8 in the third quarter. The advantage continued to grow as the Lady Eagles finished off the final 10 minutes on a 20-9 run, earning the comfortable win.
Ellie Esplin led the way as she poured in a game-best 17 points, nine of which came from the three-point line, in the victory. The performance marked the second time this season Esplin has scored 17 points in a game, the first coming against Western Wyoming on Nov. 3.
While Esplin soared offensively from the perimeter, Hadley Humphreys dominated the post. Scoring 10 of her 11 points inside the three-point line, Humphreys pulled down an astonishing 16 rebounds, half of which came on the offensive glass.
As a team, USU Eastern out rebounded Phoenix 46-29 and held the Bears to just 26-percent shooting from the field.
One more dominant victory put an exclamation point on the weekend as the Lady Eagles cruised to an 89-28 win over Glendale Community College, climbing to 5-0 in the process.