Atherton, Calif. - The women's basketball team had their four game winning streak snapped in a 75-69 loss to No. 22 Menlo College. The Cal Pac match-up was a rematch of the Golden Eagles first conference game of the season, played back in mid-November. It was a game that resulted in a lopsided victory for the Oaks.
Today's game proved to be a different story, with the Oaks encountering a focused and determined La Sierra team, who made the trip with only eight players due to a few players coming down sick.
The Oaks jumped out to the early lead on their home court. Within a few minutes the Oaks pushed out to an early 8-2 lead, but the Golden Eagles battled throughout the remainder of the first half, keeping the Oaks in contact.
Joirdan Jones converted a lay-up, to cut the lead to 19-17, midway through the half. But that would prove to be the closest the Golden Eagles would get in the half, as Menlo would not relinquish the lead, going on to extend their lead to 37-29 by the halftime break.
After the break, the Golden Eagles regrouped and came out focused and determined in their attempt at an upset. La Sierra quickly erased the 8-point lead, and took lead of their own (39-37) by starting the half on a 10-0 run. They held the Oaks scoreless for the first 6:20 of the second half.
A 3-point shot by Vanessa D'Amico put an end to the drought and regained the lead for Menlo. But the Golden Eagles were not shaken, as they scored four straight points and a 43-40 lead with just over 12:30 to play.
But that would prove to be the largest and last lead the Golden Eagles would enjoy on the afternoon. Menlo regained their footing midway through the half, putting together a 19-4 run, over the next five minutes, extending to their largest lead of the day, at 59-47.
But the Golden Eagles were quite done. After a couple minutes of some back-and-forth action, La Sierra made one final charge. With Menlo leading 69-57, with just under five minutes to play, the Golden Eagles mounted a 10-2 run, cutting the lead to 69-65 with just over two minutes to play, but that would prove to be as close as La Sierra would get.
Natalia Hawthorne converted 11-of-13 free throws to lead the Golden Eagles with 21 points on the afternoon. Shelby Madigan scored 14 points, followed by Joirdan Jones who tallied 13 points. Victoria Lowe also scored in double figures with 10 points.
Leilani Tuani-Fifita led the team with eight rebounds to go along with her four points, while Brittani Walker scored seven points and pulling down six rebounds.
The Golden Eagles drop to 1-2 in Cal Pac play (7-10 overall). Today's game was the first of three straight games the Golden Eagles will play this weekend. Tomorrow night they will travel to Pacific Union College for another conference game, starting at 6:30pm