USU Eastern point guard Hailee Parry tries to get break through the Idaho Elite defense on Friday night.
USU Eastern's Brooke Slade, left battles down low with Idaho Elite player Cassie King on Friday night. Slade averaged 10 rebounds per game against King who averaged a double-double in leading Idaho Elite over the weekend.
College basketball is a tale of two halves.
For the USU Eastern Lady Eagles, the second half of each game on Friday and Saturday against Idaho Elite proved to be the difference as they dropped both games to start the 2012-13 season including a 56-47 loss on Friday night and a 71-41 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Playing against an Idaho Elite team comprised of former college players from BYU, Utah Valley University, Utah and others, USU Eastern played close for the first half in both games before falling victim to scoreless streaks, untimely turnovers and inconsistent play in the second half.
USU Eastern Head Coach Dave Paur said while the team played a good first half in both games, the team's play in the second half of each game proved to be the difference between a win and a loss.
"We just fell apart in both games in the second half," Paur said. "We had an opportunity to win going into the second half of each game but we couldn't get anything going."
Paur cited the experience of the Idaho Elite team as a problem going into the two games for his team. In particular he noted the play of 6-foot-3 center Cassie King, a former BYU player, who averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds in the two games.
"King may be one of the best post players I've coached against in 23 years," Paur said.
USU Eastern shot under 30 percent from the field in both games and shot just 9-of-26 (34 percent) from the free throw line which Paur called "atrocious".
Lerissa Quintana led the Lady Eagles on Friday night with a team-high 12 points and Amy Arbon led the team on Saturday with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field.
Sophomore point guard Hailee Parry averaged 7.5 assists over the weekend.
USU Eastern center Brooke Slade battled down low with King and the other Idaho Elite post players and averaged 10 rebounds per game.
Paur said the team has had to play players out of position due to injuries. He is hopeful to have a full team heading into a tournament at Salt Lake Community College this weekend. The Lady Eagles will also have another shot at defeating Idaho Elite when they play again this weekend.