Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The Utah State University women’s basketball team swept the College of Southern Nevada Holiday tournament over the weekend with wins over North Idaho College (NIC), Dawson Community College (DCC) and #5 Central Arizona College (CAC).
In the first quarter against #5 CAC, the score was tied 13-13. USU Eastern took the lead at that point and never looked back. They led at halftime by 10, which proved to be their second largest lead of the night behind an 11-point lead late in the second quarter. The Lady Eagles maintained their lead through the third quarter. CAC tied the game in the fourth, but the Eagles showed their resilience and battled to come out on top 76-74.
Four Eagle players were in double figures against CAC, including Sharne Robati, Emmery Wagstaff, Margaret Otuafi and Kinlee Toomer with 16, 15, 14 and 10 points, respectively. Robati had a double-double in the contest, one of two double-doubles in the holiday tournament.
The Eagles are now 1-1 against top 10 teams, including their previous loss against now #9 (formerly #10) Western Nebraska Community College and now the win against #5 Central Arizona.
USU Eastern had a large margin of victory with a 31-point route of NIC. The Eagles had three players in double-figures, two of which had double-doubles. Robati led all scorers with 15 points and added 11 rebounds for her double-double. Otuafi chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds on her way to a double-double. Harley Carlisle added nine rebounds, five of them being offensive boards.
“Margaret, Harley and Sharne did a great job of dominating the boards for us,” head coach Chelsey Warburton said post game. “Offensive execution was our biggest strength. With 20 assists on the game, we were really sharing the ball well.”
Against DCC, Wagstaff led the Eagles in scoring with 19 on 7-16 from the floor. USUE had 18 offensive rebounds in the final stat column, dominating the offensive glass compared to the five from DCC.
“Tonight was a great team win for us. We had several players in foul trouble and allowed too many points off turnovers. We were able to hold on down the stretch thanks to defensive pressure and key free throws” said Warburton of the 70-65 victory over DCC.
The now 15-2 Eagles, riding a five-game winning streak, will be back in action after the New Year when they begin Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) play. The team will open up SWAC play against the College of Southern Idaho on Jan. 4 in Twin Falls, ID.