The Golden Eagles dropped their season opener at Fresno
Pacific by a score of 69-47 Friday afternoon. In a game that was close deep
into the second half, the Sunbirds pulled away outscoring La Sierra 16-5 over
the last five minutes. La Sierra opened with an early 19-12 lead and held that
margin until the three minute mark of the first half. Fresno Pacific used a
14-6 run to end the second half and took a 33-28 lead into the break. Then
second half was just as tight as the Golden Eagles kept it close through the
first 10 minutes. La Sierra closed the gap to 9 points with a 3 point play from
Natalia Hawthorne with eight minutes to go. The Sunbirds would not relent and
behind a career high thirty points from guard Jenay Herring, pulled away for
the victory. La Sierra was led by sophomore guard Natalia Hawthorne's 20 points
and Senior Ashley Baumgaertels 10 rebounds. "We have to do better"
said Coach Thorson after the game, "we cannot shoot 26% from the field
including 1-11 from behind the arc and expect to win". La Sierra won the rebounding battle 45-44 but turned the ball over far too many
times enroute to the loss.
The Golden Eagles continue the short 2-game road trip Saturday night as they leave Fresno and travel to Santa Barbara to face the Warriors of Westmont College. Westmont begins the season as the #20 ranked team in the NAIA and will prove to be a stern test for the Golden Eagles. "We wanted to play the best" said Coach Thorson. "We feel as if we will become a much better team as the season progresses"