Photo by Jeff Barrett
Tied 19-19 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Eagles extended their lead to 38-33 heading into half time. The game flipped completely in the third quarter as USU Eastern went on a a 23-2 run, holding Yavapai without a single field goal in the period.
“I think it was our defense more than anything that changed the game,” said head coach Chelsey Warburton. “We got a couple of stops early in the second half and that’s what we really needed. We had some key stops where they didn’t score, and we got up the floor and had some quick baskets.”
USU Eastern’s defensive pressure made life difficult on the Roughriders. Yavapai committed 20 turnovers for the game, which turned into 26 points in transition for the Lady Eagles.
Summer Christensen led the charge for USU Eastern as she posted a team-high 13 points to go along with five rebounds and four steals. Ellie Esplin scored 10 points and gathered six rebounds. Japrix Weaver also reached double-figures as she finished with 10 points.
Tuesday’s win comes after a 10-day break and marks the third straight victory for the team. With a challenging pre-season tournament and conference play right around the corner, the Lady Eagles continue to play outstanding basketball.
“This is probably one of our better starts in our nine years here,” said Warburton. “You have to give credit to the kids for buying in. They give all they have on both ends of the floor, they get along so well, and they trust what we are teaching. They are the ones executing it all and it’s fun to watch the results.”
USU Eastern will take the rest of the week off and then travel to Las Vegas for three games in three days beginning Monday. The three-game road trip will be the final games before the lengthy Christmas Break, which runs from Dec. 21 through Jan. 10.