Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 10, 2003) - The Golden Eagles women’s basketball team opened their season this past weekend at the 20th annual College of the Ozarks Classic. JBU took on Friends University of Kansas on Friday and then played Bethel College of Indiana on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles basketball team was able to shake off a cold shooting start in the first half to come away with a 65-56 victory over Friends University. JBU was able to convert only on 9 of 23 two pointers and 2 of 12 treys in the first half. Despite the cold shooting, the Golden Eagles were able to play steady defense and go into halftime with a 27-24 lead.
During the second half, JBU got their offense on track, making 16 of 30 from the field and 5 of 11 from three-point range. “The difference between the first half and second half was that our offense was patient, we were able to get some easy baskets which allowed us to pull ahead. The first half we had too many turnovers, and I think that was due to first game jitters. We had just 4 turnovers in the second half, which allowed us to have more offensive possessions giving us better shots out of our half court game, ” JBU Coach Jeff Soderquist commented. Sophomore Kendra McCormick led JBU with 15 points while frosh Ashley Wettengel had 12, soph Lesli Fanning and sophomore transfer Alicia Baer contributed 11 points each.
The Lady Golden Eagles returned to action on Saturday taking on Bethel College. Bethel was able to use full court pressure and aggressive offensive rebounding to pull off the 63-61 victory. JBU gave up 22 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 26 times to the Pilots. The Golden Eagles were down 29-28 at half after having several lead changes in the first period. The second half saw more of the same with the lead going back and forth between the two teams. It looked as if JBU had things under control with less than 2 minutes to go when McCormick put the Golden Eagles up by 3. However, a three pointer by Abby Noll and a free-throw by Chasity Zellars would put the Pilots up by 2 and seal the victory. “You can’t give a good team that many chances,” stated Soderquist. “We gave them too many second opportunities after good defensive stops and you can’t do that and win ballgames.” McCormick led all scorers with 20 points while Wettengel and frosh Nancy Pierre poured in 10 points each. The Lady Golden Eagles return to action on Tuesday when they host Messenger College at 6 pm.
The JBU women will host their annual Golden Eagle Classic this weekend. JBU will play LSU-Shreveport on Friday at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday the Golden Eagles will take on Bethel College of Kansas at 1:00 p.m.