|CEU's Lauren Jones (21) waits for a possible rebound as a teammate takes a shot during the game on Saturday night.|
Lady Eagles early seasons hopes damaged by unfortunate circumstances
Heading into the holiday break, the CEU Lady Eagles basketball team needs to find a way to get it's boat floating again, because right now it seems it is swamped.
"This is the worst start we have had in four years," said Coach Dave Paur after the team dropped a 76-58 game to the Salt Lake Community College Lady Bruins on Saturday night. "It has just been one thing after another."
Those things include two important factors that the coach doesn't like to talk much about; player suspensions and injuries to key players. And it doesn't help that the team can't seem to shoot a decent percentage from the field either.
After the loss at Snow College on Thursday, where the team scored an anemic 48 points while Snow put through 70, Saturday night was an improvement in both points scored and field goal percentages. But it still wasn't good enough to do the Salt Lake team in.
The game began with the Lady Bruins running off a lot of points quickly and by the 7:07 mark they led 25-10. In the middle of that run it didn't help that CEU's Krislyn Wallace ran into a bleacher on the east end of the BDAC going after the ball and reinjured a leg that was originally hurt during a game at the College of Southern Idaho earlier in the preseason. She did not return to the game.
Paur could tell it was another bad break for his team as he could hear her cry out when medical personnel sat down by her and tried to help her bend it.
"That really hurt us in Saturday nights game," he said on Tuesday. "After that we just kind of tanked the game."
But the contest must go on and on it did. Somehow, though rapidly becoming more and more short handed, the Lady Eagles rallied in the final five minutes of the half bringing the score to a much more respectable 34-24 margin.
The CEU team seemed energized by half time and came out fighting, much like they had at the end of the first half. But they just couldn't seem to gain on the much taller Lady Bruins team. By the time the clock read 17:17 the score had slipped a little to 41--29. Four minutes later it had gone to 50-31 as the Salt Lakers reeled off a 9-2 run.
For the rest of the game it stayed about the same as the Lady Eagles just couldn't seem to overcome their shooting slump. They missed open shots and even layups a number of times.
"I know some of what's wrong," said Paur. "Losing Wallace is a real blow and Nelson (Janeen) can't really shoot because of a hurt shoulder, but we still have some really good players. I believe in them, they just need to believe in themselves."
The 35 percent shooting for the game may sound bad, but compared to 24 percent on Thursday against Snow and in particular the 19.4 percent in the second half of that contest, the numbers are at least headed in the right direction.
Jana Glover had a good game for the Lady Eagles scoring 20 points, taking down four rebounds and gathering in three assists. Brittany Blaisdell had 12 points, pulled down three rebounds and also had three assists. The leading rebounder for the team was Kaylynn Fager with six.
Paur said he will know sometime this week when and if Wallace can return this season, after an evaluation by a surgeon. The team now heads off to a tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. on Dec. 27 after a holiday break.
Their next home game will be on Jan.6 when the College of Southern Idaho comes calling.
Men defeated by tough SLCC team
The College of Eastern Utah men's basketball team fell into a hole on Saturday night, and no matter how hard they tried they couldn't get out.
The hole was a 20 point deficit in the first half, and with that they lost their second league game of the season going down to the Salt Lake Community College Bruins 78-63.
When the game began there was great hope in the air. The Golden Eagles had won their opening league game at home against Dixie just a little over a week before in a thrilling two point victory and despite a loss at Snow College on Thursday night (84-74) they felt they were on their way to a 2-1 record going into Saturday nights game. But a combination of the Bruin defense and poor shooting in the first half doomed the team to be in the second tier of conference teams going into the Christmas break.
For the first couple of minutes of the first half the game was pretty even as each team scored and stayed within sight of each other. But at about three minutes in the Bruins started to pull away and fast. By the time about six minutes were left in the period, the Salt Lake team had a 29-11 lead.
However, in those last few minutes of the half, the Eagles began to rally, scoring 11 points bringing the score to a more respectable 42-22 at that half.
The figures at half-time showed CEU had shot only 30.8 percent in the first half while the Bruins had shot 53.6. The Salt Lake team had also gone two for two in the three point department while the home team had only attempted one and missed it. However the rally that had begun in the first half for the Eagles carried over into the second half. At the 17:50 mark of the second half the CEU men had put up eight points bringing the score to 42-31 and it looked like the were moving on up.
But then the Bruins started up their scoring operation, as well as some defense and the Eagles fell behind by over 20 points once again. It remained there for a quite a while with baskets being traded back and forth and by the 10:16 mark little had improved as the scoreboard showed 61-42.
But the CEU men began to move up again gaining point by point, catching up with the Salt Lake team little by little. And the Bruins didn't seem to be able to stop that progression. Unfortunately for the Eagles the time left in the game was just too short.
CEU improved it's shooting immensely in the second half going 15 of 34 for a little over 44 percent. More importantly they had outscored their opponents 41-36 in the period, a good building point for Coach Bryan Zollinger to build on.
CEU had four players in double figures with Eldridge Henderson's 16 points leading the way. Chris Lang contributed 11 and both Tate Sorensen and Tyler Billings put in 10.
In the rebounding department John Rogers led the Eagles with seven, five of them off the offensive glass. No one was high in assists, in fact only nine total were registered to CEU for the game.
The CEU men will now take the Christmas break away from games. The next home appearance will be on Jan. 6 when the College of Southern Idaho comes to the BDAC.