Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Calvin Jensen, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
Snapping a six-year drought against Snow College, the USU Eastern women’s basketball team dominated the Badgers on the road by a score of 59-33.
Tough defense from both teams began the first quarter without a single point added to the scoreboard in the first 4.5 minutes of play. Once the Lady Eagles’ offense warmed up, a layup by Margarett Otuafi began a 15-3 run for USU Eastern, who held Snow College to only 8.3% shooting from the field to finish out the first quarter.
Catching fire from beyond the arc was Lamija Coric during the second quarter, hitting back-to-back three-point shots to help propel USU Eastern to a 30-16 lead going into the half. Throughout the third quarter of play, the Lady Eagles couldn’t get their shots to fall; shooting only four of 18 from the floor while being held to a season low score of nine points in the quarter. Snow College was unable to take advantage of the Lady Eagles’ third quarter offensive struggles as USU Eastern’s defense held the Lady Badgers to only two shots on eight attempts.
Able to regroup offensively, USU Eastern scored 20 points in the fourth quarter thanks to an impressive performance from the Lady Eagles’ bench. Earning their seventh win in a row, the Lady Eagles defeated Snow College for the first time since 2014.
“This was an excellent win. The girls did a wonderful job in finding ways to score as a team. Defensively, they continue to work hard, making it difficult for our opponents to score. As coaches, it is fun to watch their team chemistry continue to grow each day,” said head coach Chelsey Warburton.
Morgan Toluono led the Eagles with 11 points on the night, adding three rebounds and two assists. Lamija Coric added nine points, all from behind the three-point line. Margarett Otuafi was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and an impressive 11 rebounds on defense.
When asked about the importance of this win for the team, sophomore point guard Morgan Toluono said, “It felt great to be part of breaking the 10-game losing streak against Snow. Winning is always great, but winning this game against them was amazing. Our record of 17-2 reflects unity of the team as well as trust in the process and our coaches. We collectively buy in and focus on “us” and the game that lies ahead.”
The USU Eastern women’s basketball team will welcome fans and community members to their conference home opener Thursday, Jan. 16 against a tough Salt Lake Bruins program. Tip-off will be at 5 p.m. inside the BDAC.