Lady Eagles Upset #1 Seed SLCC, Advance To SWAC Championship Game


Photo by Jeff Barrett

In an epic upset on Friday night, #4 seed Utah State Eastern women’s basketball overcame a slow start and toppled #1 seed Salt Lake Community College, advancing to the SWAC Region 18 Championship game. Despite being the underdogs, the Lady Eagles battled the entire game with a huge 4th quarter performance, overturning expectations with a final score of 60-58.

Utah State Easterns’ Japrix Weaver delivered an outstanding all-around performance not only leading all scorers with 14 points but making significant contributions on defense with 2 steals and contributed to the team’s rebounding effort with three boards.  Eastern’s shooting improvement throughout the game was evident, with field goal percentages rising from 25% in the first quarter to a commanding 45.5% in the fourth.

Summer Christensen and Annie Stinar played crucial roles in the victory. Christensen added 9 points, dished out 4 assists, and secured 5 rebounds. Stinar, coming off the bench, matched Christensen’s scoring, including two critical three-pointers.

Defensively, the Lady Eagles out rebounded Salt Lake 43 to 33, with Hadley Humpherys leading the defensive effort with 6 rebounds, followed closely by Summer Christensen and Olivia Nielson, each with 5 rebounds.

Despite some challenges, including 19 turnovers, Eastern’s defense held strong against the Bruins, especially in the crucial moments, limiting Salt Lake’s scoring opportunities in the 4th quarter and making pivotal stops. Their ability to stay composed under the pressure was a key factor in their victory.

The Bruins refused to give up cutting an Eagles nine-point fourth quarter lead to within one in the final minute of play.  However, perhaps the most crucial play of the game came from a three-point shot by Ellie Esplin with 45 seconds left to put the Eagles up by four and giving the Eagles the momentum needed to outlast a Bruins 60-58.

USU Eastern will now advance to the SWAC Region 18 Championship Game on Saturday afternoon against #2 seed College of Southern Idaho  at 3:00 p.m. at the Bruin Arena in Taylorsville, Utah.

All USU Eastern conference tournament games will air on KOAL 107.3 FM and 750 AM.  Games will also be live streamed on the Scenic West Digital Network.

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