Riverside, Calif. - Despite an off night shooting from the field, the Golden Eagles women's basketball team defeated William Jessup University, 56-44. The team was looking to carry momentum from their win over Simpson University on Thursday night. This Cal Pac match-up was the first of two meetings between the two schools.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 12-4 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. But over the next two minutes the Warriors used a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 14-13, in favor of the Golden Eagles. La Sierra quickly answered with an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 21-13 with 4:40 remaining in the half. And by the halftime break, the Golden Eagles maintained a modest 23-17 lead.
In the first three minutes of the second half, the Warriors got to within one possession, 25-23, with a 6-2 run. But the Golden Eagles once again answered with an 10-2 run of their own to push the lead to 35-25. But a free throw and two straight field goals, by the Warriors, cut the lead in half. The 8-0 run was capped off by a Sarah Peterson 3-point field goal that again made it a one-possession game, at 35-33.
Unable to distance themselves all night, from the Warriors, the Golden Eagles were able to answer every William Jessup scoring run with one of their own.
Leading 40-35 with seven minutes remaining in the game, the Golden Eagles put together a timely 14-4 run, for their largest lead of the night, at 54-39.
Natalia Hawthorne led all players with 27 points in addition to six rebounds, five steals, and four assists. Shelby Madigan added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds along with two assists and two steals. Rounding out the scoring leaders was Victoria Lowe who finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Joirdan Jones also contributed with nine rebounds, four points, two steals, and an assist.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball on the evening. In the first half, the Warriors shot 7-for-27 (26-percent) while the Golden Eagles were only one percentage point better on 7-for-26 shooting.
The Golden Eagles shot considerably better in the second half, finishing 12-for-28 (43-percent), while holding the Warriors to 31-percent on 9-of-29 shooting.
The women's basketball team improves to 5-2 in the Cal Pac and 11-11 overall. It is the first time the team has had a .500 record since they were 1-1 on the season, back on November 4. Back on December 7, the team had an overall record of 3-9. They have reached the .500 mark by winning eight of their last ten games.
The team will step away from conference play on Tuesday, at 5pm, as they travel to Pomona-Pitzer. For the Golden Eagles it was the start of their eight out of ten game streak, as they defeated Pomona-Pitzer 67-63 back on December 14.