La Sierra NEWS
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Wed, Nov. 23, 2011 - [Women's Basketball]
The La Sierra Women's basketball team traveled to Costa Mesa on Tuesday night to face the #10 ranked Vanguard Lions and gave the host team all they could handle before falling 56-46 at "The Pit" on the campus of the South Orange County University.

La Sierra jumped out to a 2-0 lead 12 seconds into the game with a layup by Ashley Baumgaertel and the Golden Eagles would maintain a narrow lead until the Lions moved ahead 7-6 on a jumper by Maree Drennan with 13:38 showing on the clock. The Lions went on an 11-3 run to take a 23-13 edge with 7:08 to play in the first half, but the Golden Eagles would not go away easily and responded with a 7-0 run to close within a point with less than three minutes remaining in the opening half. Vanguard senior team captain Paige Halberg completed a six-point spree to end the first half and lead the Lions into the halftime break with a 27-20 lead.

The Golden Eagles out rebounded the Lions 20-17 in the first 20 minutes of play and shot 30% from the field. Sophomore guard Natalia Hawthorne led the Golden Eagles with 8 points and 3 rebounds at the break.

The second half was an offensive struggle for both teams. Vanguard scored 13 of the first 17 points of the second half to run out to an 18 point lead six minutes into the second half. La Sierra called a timeout and came out firing to go on a 16-4 run of there own to narrow the lead to 46-40 with 6:29 left in the game. The lead remained six as the teams traded baskets and until the two minute mark. Vanguard made 4 straight free throws to again push the gap to 10 points and La Sierra could not overcome that deficit.

The Golden Eagles were led by Natalia Hawthorne's 16 points and six rebounds. Ashley Baumgaertal added 8 points and 6 rebounds and Joirdan Jones pitched in with 9 points and 4 boards. The Lions were led by Esther Timmermans 17 points and 8 rebounds.

"We played hard all night" said second year coach Eric Thorson. "We came here looking to compete and play 40 minutes of hard-nose basketball, I believe we did that" said Thorson. " We are improving not only as a team, but as a program, and we are getting better each and every day". Said coach Thorson.

Next up for the Golden Eagles is a home game on Wednesday night the 23rd vs. the Cal Baptist Lancers. That game will prove to another stern test for the young Golden Eagles. "to be the best, you must play the best" says a confident coach Thorson. That game will tip off at 7 pm. and can be seen live on beginning at 6:55 pm.