Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Jordan Buscarini
The USU Eastern Lady Eagles moved to 10-2 in Scenic West Athletic Conference play and earned a season-series sweep over the Snow College Badgers with a 64-53 win Saturday afternoon in Ephraim.
“That was a great team effort on both ends of the floor,” said head coach Chelsey Warburton following the win. “The team battled and stayed together to come out with the big win. We are very proud of this group.”
Brinlee McCrae scored 14 points, finishing 2-3 from the three-point line, to lead the Lady Eagles in the win. Maci Wall finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Brooklyn Palmer chipped in with nine points and seven boards.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, but it was USU Eastern that gathered a 27-16 lead entering the break.
Twice in the third quarter, Snow College managed to chop the USU Eastern lead to nine points. Both times, the Lady Eagles answered with immediate buckets, the first coming from Baylee Ueligitone on a 18-foot jumper and the second on a running floater from Gabby Goo.
USU Eastern continued to methodically pull away from the Badgers and opened a 53-39 lead, its largest of the afternoon, with 4:51 left in the game. The Badgers answered with a 9-0 run, cutting the USU Eastern advantage to just five, leading to a timeout with 2:10 remaining.
McCrae put a stop to the Snow College run by connecting on a right corner three on the ensuing possession. Snow College again responded with three points on the next two possessions, but two timely free throws from Brooklyn Palmer extended the USU Eastern lead back to seven, putting the game out of reach.
USU Eastern created a huge advantage on the glass as four different players finished with seven rebounds, leading to 16 more than Snow for the game.
Saturday’s victory extends USU Eastern’s winning streak to five, tying a season high. The team put together five consecutive wins in the middle of November ahead of conference play.
USU Eastern will wrap up a three-game road trip on Thursday as they travel to meet the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. CSI is currently the top team in the SWAC with a league record of 12-1.