Ballin’ at USU Eastern
This week the USU Eastern women’s basketball team had some tough matchups against Salt Lake Community College Thursday and Snow College Saturday with a six point loss against SLCC and a five point win against Snow.
In the SLCC game, the Eagles had a great start leading 14-2, just five minutes into the first half. The momentum, however, didn’t last and Salt Lake eventually came at the end of the game to beat the Eagles 70-64.
In the game against Snow, the Eagles started off with some strong defense and caused Snow to commit 11 turnovers in the first half. Part way through the second half their determination to win helped them overcome a seven point deficit to come back and beat Snow 64-59. Amy Arbon, number 23, played a key role in that game hitting a 3-pointer out of the timeout to take the lead 60-57 with only a minute left in the game
Before the game, Coach Dave Paur said, “we’re about 6-8 points away from being undefeated but you know what? Close doesn’t count, does it?” Many of the recent games haven’t “counted” as the team has lost by only a couple of baskets. In both the SLCC and Snow games, the stats in the second half were almost all considerably lower than those in the first half.
In the first half of the SLCC game, Eastern shot 46.7 percent from the field, but by the end of the second half, they only shot 22.5 percent. In the first half of the Snow game they were able to make 2-6 from the three-point line, but in the second half they were unable to connect on their three-point shots – shooting 2-12. To get over that hump, the team must stay true to their defensive strengths while improving their shooting percentage.
Right now their hard-nosed defense is keeping them in the game. In the Snow game they caused 23 turnovers, which was a huge reason they were able to come back from their 7-point deficit and take the win. Coach Paur’s strategy is to full-court press almost the entire game, which causes a lot of teams to turn the ball over and giving the Golden Eagles many more opportunities to score. Question is, can they follow through on the extra opportunities?
Paur puts great trust in his players. His strategy is simple: “if you’re open, shoot it – I don’t care who you are – if you’re not, pass it.” It is apparent that his players take this to heart, shooting 70 shots in the SLCC game with an overall percentage of 32.9, compared to the opponent’s 46 shots, percentage of 43.5. Eastern is definitely taking plenty of shots. If the percentage had been increased by a mere 6 percent, they would have taken the victory.
The Eagles are on the road this weekend against North Idaho College tonight at 5:30 p.m and College of Southern Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. the Lady Eagles lost to both teams at home before the break. NIC defeated them 58-54, and CSI defeated the Eagles 65-60.
They return home on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they take on CNCC, a team they defeated on the road 62-53, Jan. 5.
. The lady Eagles lost to both teams at home before the break. The Cardinals defeated them 58-54 and CSI defeated the Eagles 65-60.
They return home on Saturday, January 26 when they take on CNCC, a team they defeated on the road 62-53, on January 5th.