By: Loren Miller, USU Eastern Sports Information
PRICE – Utah State Eastern women’s basketball lost to the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles 76-72 on Saturday.
The Eagles picked up their second straight loss after losing to Snow at home on Thursday night.
CSI had the lead for 38 out of the 40 minutes of regulation time.
Led by Tiena Afu’s 13 points, CSI outscored the Eagles 40-28 in the first half.
USU Eastern struggled in the first half on offense with only shooting 11.1% from three-point range and giving up 10 turnovers.
Eagles’ Head Coach Chelsey Warburton said after the game that her team just couldn’t convert on offense.
“We had great looks again that unfortunately didn’t fall for us tonight. We beat ourselves by digging a hole in the first quarter.,” said Warburton.
Within one minute into the third quarter, the Eagles had to take a timeout being down 16 to CSI.
After the timeout, the Eagles would go on 8-2 run over the next four minutes to cut the CSI lead to 10 points.
Sophomore point guard Rashel Blazzard said that it was the defense of the Eagles that helped get them going on offense.
“The first thing we did was continue to get defensive stops and then convert them into good open shots on the other end,” said Blazzard.
The Eagles would end up outscoring CSI 21-16 in the third quarter and trail by only seven points heading into the final quarter.
Both teams would battle in the fourth quarter as the Eagles would not allow CSI to get their lead back to double-digits.
Freshman forward Alyssa Crumley led the Eagles in scoring during the second half with 13 points while Blazzard scored 11 of her 13 points in the half as well.
“She had some key moments to give us the momentum we needed to keep fighting,” said Blazzard.
Blazzard also had eight assists and six rebounds in Saturday’s loss.
“Rashel has been solid in the fourth quarter for us the last several games, I am happy with how she is playing,” said Warburton.
With five minutes left in the game, USU Eastern’s Autumn Kay made a layup to cut the CSI lead to one.
In the final two minutes of the game, the free throw shooting of CSI would keep the Eagles behind and prevent them from winning the game.
CSI made 11 free throws in the final two minutes and shot 22-25 from the free throw line for the game.
Crumley finished the game with 21 points and three rebounds for USU Eastern.
Sophomore forward Kaitlin Toluono scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds before fouling out with a minute left in the game.
USU Eastern’s record moves to 3-6 in conference play and 16-10 overall.
They will now have a week to prepare for a road game at Salt Lake on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“We need to have a great week of practice and play four strong quarters on Saturday against SLCC,” said Warburton.
The Eagles have lost to SLCC twice already this season at home. Saturday’s game will be their final attempt to take down the top ranked Lady Bruins before the region tournament next month.
Saturday’s game against SLCC will be live streamed on live.ksl.com.