Women's Basketball News & Highlights
January 25, 2014
Eagles Get First Win At Center Valley
The Eagles had been 0-14 at DeSales before Saturday's 69-58 win.
Eastern started both halves slowly, but finished strong in the final five minutes of each half to pull away from DeSales.
Eagles' head coach Nate Davis commented how big that these are the games that the Eagles have to win to take the program to the next level and potentially contend for a conference championship. "I have so much respect for DeSales and their program and their consistent success, so for us to come up here and get a big win is huge for our program," he said.
In the first half, Eastern's starting bigs Meghan Nowak and Emily Lavin got into foul trouble and were both on the bench with seven minutes left in the half and Eastern trailing 19-17.
With a smaller lineup in, Eagles' guards Gina DiDomenico and Kaitlyn Dougherty took over, combining for the Eagles' next 15 points. With 5:31 left, DeSales went up by three, 24-21 with a 3-pointer by Gabby Scott. After that bucket, the Eagles' defense held the Bulldogs to a layup and two free throws for the remainder of the half.
The Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 14-4 in the final five minutes of the half. Eagles sophomore guard Yazlane Villegas hit the only Eagles' basket at the end of the half that wasn't by DiDomenico or Dougherty, sinking a 3-pointer with 1:00 left in the half to put Eastern up 35-26.
Davis said that DiDomenico and Dougherty's confidence have been continually improving and they didn't try to do things outside of the offensive system during that run.
"The cool thing that we've seen with our team is other players being able to step up," Davis said. "They understand that they can do it in the context of the offense. The key at the end of the half was Tori Grossi, Bethany Zimmerman and Yaz Villegas coming in and filling their roles and allowing Doc and Gina to take it within the offensive flow. We got really good bench play and its a tribute to their hard work."
The Eagles bench scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds. DeSales' bench was held to three points.
The second half started slow offensively for the Eagles. Meghan Nowak scored the Eagles' first six points of the half, but those were the Eagles' only points for nearly the first nine minutes of the half.
DeSales took the lead back with 10:40 left with a 3-pointer by guard Sondrine Glovas. Glovas came right back down the court and sunk another 3-pointer to put DeSales ahead 47-43. Glovas finished with a game-high 26 points and also had 10 rebounds.
The Eagles tied the game back up with a jump shot by Emily Lavin and free throws from Dougherty and then with the game tied at 53-53 with five minutes to play, the Eagles kept a play alive with a rebound by Bethany Zimmerman who found Meghan Nowak at the 3-point line. Nowak quickly released a shot to beat the shot clock and her attempt bounced off the front the rim. Zimmerman collected the rebound and found Dougherty open for three.
Dougherty's 3-pointer put Eastern up 56-53. "That was huge," Davis said. "Those were the type of plays that would happen against us. Beth didn't quit on the play, Megan put up a decent shot, and Beth fought for the rebound and kicked it out to Doc (Dougherty). I'm very comfortable with (Dougherty) in those situations. She's not afraid of the big moments. She wants to be in those."
After a field goal on the other end for DeSales, Eastern's Zimmerman made her second layup on the game on a nice backdoor cut. DeSales again responded with a layup, but Dougherty finished an and-one on the other end of the court to put Eastern up 61-57.
With 1:59, Emily Lavin hit a jump shot to stretch Eastern's lead to 63-57. Meghan Nowak sealed the win for Eastern with six free throws down the stretch.
Nowak led the Eagles with 20 points and nine rebounds, Dougherty finished with 19 points and five rebounds, DiDomenico had 11 points, and Lavin grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Eagles now 10-7 overall and 4-1 in the Freedom Conference play at Wilkes University on Wednesday.
Updated: Saturday, 25 January 2014