Atherton, CA - Playing in their first game since their holiday break, the Golden Eagles women's basketball team played their first of three games on their Northern California trip. The first game was a match-up with the 24th ranked Oaks of Menlo College. The Golden Eagles jumped right out of the gates for an early 9-0 lead and held on to the lead until the 14:22 mark of the 2nd half, but were able to grind out a 76-72 upset win over the Oaks.
The contest was a tightly played game throughout, consisting of 16 ties and 12 lead changes. The Golden Eagles were able to rebound from a disappointing overtime loss to Arizona Christian just before the Christmas holiday. They were finally able to make the necessary plays to grind out the win.
After the Oaks took a 48-46 lead in the early part of the 2nd half, both teams answered each other, with neither team enjoying more than a two point lead until the Golden Eagles extended their lead to three points with 32 seconds left. The sequence started when Victoria Lowe received the in-bounds pass, from Shelby Madigan, and subsequently knocked down the shot and was fouled on the play, tying the score at 70-70. The Oaks were called for a technical foul for complaining on the foul call, which resulted in two made free throws from Natalia Hawthorne, pushing the lead to 72-70. Lowe followed by knocking down the free throw to complete the three-point play and extending to a 73-70 lead that they would not relinquish.
After the Oaks cut the lead to one (72-73) on a made basket by Lauren Adamek, the Golden Eagles secured the victory by knocking down free throws. Hawthorne, who knocked down both free throws on the technical hit one-of-two, while Brittani Walker calmly walked to the line to hit both attempts with seven seconds remaining, and pushing the lead to 76-72.
The Golden Eagles shot just under 44-percent for the game, including 42-percent from the 3-point line on 5-of-12 shooting. La Sierra also shot just under 79-percent from the free throw line, including 13-of-15 in the second half. The Golden Eagles won the rebounding battle by a slim margin, 37-34, including 14 offensive rebounds.
Hawthorne led the Golden Eagles with 27 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Lowe finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and three steals. Joirdan Jones pitched in with nine points and five rebounds. While Shelby Madigan added nine points and five rebounds of her own.
The Golden Eagles improve to 6-11 on the season. They will travel to Vallejo, CA, on Saturday night to face the California State University – Maritime Academy Keelhaulers. The tip is scheduled for 6:30pm.