Lady Eagles fly in final minutes
|CEU sophomore Chelsey Jackson drives the lane in Friday's comeback game against College of Southern Idaho. The Lady Eagles won the game 62-60.|
As the top ranked team in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, College of Southern Idaho probably suspected the second ranked College of Eastern Utah Lady Eagles would be planning a full-on assault in last weekend's two-game series hosted by CEU.
However, CSI most likely didn't expect the assault would occur in the final minutes of both games.
CEU floored fans and opponents alike when a 22 point deficit in Friday night's game was overcome with less than seven minutes remaining in the second half.
Cassie and Chelsey Warburton propelled the resurgence with 14 and 10 points respectively.
Chelsey Jackson and Cheryl Grant added nine a piece.
The Lady Eagles defeated CSI 62-60.
The defeat was Southern Idaho's first conference loss of the season and knocks them from their national ranking of 16th place.
Head coach Dave Paur attributes the uprise to the team's unshakable attitude.
"They believe they can beat anyone," he commented. "I think that is what fueled the comeback."
The win was CEU's third of the week.
Earlier in the week at a Las Vegas invitational tournament, the Lady Eagles defeated two of the strongest junior college teams in the nation.
On Dec. 29, CEU was matched against the third ranked team in the country, Seward County Community College.
SCCC was 12-0 on the season going into the game and took the national junior college division one championship title in the 2001-2002 season.
CEU took the game, 79-71, thanks to 42 percent team shooting from the floor, 54 percent team shooting from three point range and 77 percent team shooting from the free throw line.
CEU's win over Seward is listed as only the seventh loss SCCC has had in the last five years.
The next night, CEU toppled Yavapai College of Prescott, Ariz. in a 68-66 victory.
The streak ended on Jan. 3 in the second of the two games against Southern Idaho.
CEU tried to steal the game away again from the Lady Golden Eagles, reducing a seven point lead with less than four minutes remaining to a two point lead, 65-67.
Foul shots left CEU's Lady Eagles down by three with only seconds remaining.
The attempted three-pointer to tie was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Southern Idaho recorded the win, 71-68.
The game capped off a long week for the team. After the triumphs in Las Vegas, the team bus broke down in southern Utah, stranding the team and disrupting its practice pattern for the upcoming Southern Idaho games.
As a result, Paur said the team was out of energy by the fourth game and struggled with their shooting, although he asserted that the Lady Eagles still could have taken the game.
"If we'd have had one more minute, we'd have won that game," he noted. "We just ran out of time."
CEU shot 27 percent from the floor for the night.
Chelsey Warburton had 15 points and Lindsey Arnoldus added 12.
Southern Idaho is 9-1 in SWAC play after the weekend, with CEU trailing at 9-3.
The Lady Eagles will travel to Snow College for conference play on Jan. 16 and 17.