Riverside, CA - Looking for their first win of the season, the women's basketball team hosted University of California - Merced tonight at the Alumni Pavilion. After their opening season loss to San Diego Christian College on Monday evening, the Golden Eagles were looking to rebound against the Bobcats who were playing in their game as a program in their inaugural season. Despite a spirited second half comeback by the Bobcats, the Golden Eagles were able to gut out a 78-77 overtime win.
The Bobcats jumped out to the early 5-0 on a couple of free-throws and a three-point basket. La Sierra would eventually settle in and push their lead to 38-27 at the half. Early in the second-half the Golden Eagles pushed that lead to 13 points, their largest lead of the game, before the Bobcats staged a comeback and would eventually take the lead in the latter half of the second half. La Sierra clung to a four point lead in the final minute, but a three-point make pulled the Bobcats back to within one point. After a foul sent the Golden Eagles to the line, they were only able to make one of the two free-throws, leaving the door open for the Bobcats to tie the score or win it with a three-point shot. The Bobcats put the ball in the hands Shelby Howard who had led the comeback. Howard got the ball up to the basket, rebounded her miss, and was subsequently fouled on the put-back with just one second remaining on the clock. Howard calmly stepped up to the line and hit two free-throws, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, the two teams exchanged the lead, but when the dust settled it was the Golden Eagles who were able to scrap out the one-point win.
Natalia Hawthorne led the Golden Eagles with 28 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. Joirdan Jones had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with three assists and two steals. Brittani Walker pitched in with 10 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and one assist.
Shelby Howard led the way for the Bobcats with a game-high 30 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Leticia Oceguera added 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The Golden Eagles are now 1-1 on the season and escaped the record book as being the Bobcats first ever victory in school history. The team will close out a busy week at Biola University on Saturday night. Their next home game will take place on Monday evening, November 12, versus Hope International University.
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