Women’s basketball soars over Alaska Fairbanks

The Eagles found their first victory of the season after two back-to-back losses.

Senior+guard+Jelissa+Puckett+looks+for+a+teammate+to+pass+to+during+their+game+against+Alaska+Fairbanks+on+November+14th%2C+2019.+
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Women’s basketball soars over Alaska Fairbanks

Senior guard Jelissa Puckett looks for a teammate to pass to during their game against Alaska Fairbanks on November 14th, 2019.

Senior guard Jelissa Puckett looks for a teammate to pass to during their game against Alaska Fairbanks on November 14th, 2019.

Marlena Lang // THE CHIMES

Senior guard Jelissa Puckett looks for a teammate to pass to during their game against Alaska Fairbanks on November 14th, 2019.

Marlena Lang // THE CHIMES

Marlena Lang // THE CHIMES

Senior guard Jelissa Puckett looks for a teammate to pass to during their game against Alaska Fairbanks on November 14th, 2019.

Gigi Fierro, Freelance Writer

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The Eagles hosted the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 14 at Chase Gymnasium. The starting five entered the night with an explosive 10-point lead as they dominated the court with their unbreakable zone defense, hard drives to the paint and strategic passing. UAF put up a hard fight in the second half. Basket for basket, rebound for rebound, they were ready for a comeback. Yet, the Eagles weren’t going to give up tonight’s victory as they won 61-53.  

Sophomore guard and forward Danita Estorga had 19 points and five rebounds to round out her night. Almost half of Estorga’s points came from 8-8 shooting at the free throw line. Junior forward Jazz Benn had 11 points, two rebounds and two steals in order to shift the strong defense to aggressive offense. Sophomore guard Aysia Johnson had seven points, six assists and eight rebounds to aid her team in those strategic passes that made their offense hard to beat. 

SOARING INTO THE FIRST HALF

The first half started strong with a hard drive to the paint from Estorga, followed by Johnson as the team put their zone defense into action. With every play, the Eagles stumped Alaska Fairbanks’ offense to the shot clock nearly every time. They put immense pressure on the offense in order to throw them off there game. Near the end of the second quarter, the Eagles’ defense got even more intense, to which then Benn’s stole the ball, going coast to coast to make a layup, breaking some ankles behind her. The Eagles ended the first half at 42-17.

“We did a lot better this game,” Estorga said. “We’ve had a couple of rough starts the last couple of games. I think tonight really showed our potential and even though we made some mistakes in this game, that just shows we have a lot more to grow. The fact that we won after making those mistakes and really dive into them, were going to be such a great team that we’re going to be unstoppable.” 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

The Eagles came out of the locker room with a 25-point lead, but Alaska Fairbanks wasn’t ready to back down yet. Over the course of the third quarter, Alaska Fairbanks managed to come back gradually with 17 points. During this time, Biola struggled on the offensive end, only scoring four points. However, as the fourth quarter came, the intensity, pace and speed of both the offense and defense picked up. On the defensive side, the team as a whole stepped up their game as a lot of communication, rebounds and blocks by every player was displayed on the court. The help of Estorga’s perfection from the line tonight aided the Eagles with their final score at,  61-53.

“We hung together through thick and thin,” said head coach Alan Nakamura. “The team energy reflected in defense, reflected in rebounding and reflected in enthusiasm by everybody on the court and on the bench.”The Eagles (1-2 overall) will return to Chase Gymnasium on Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. to compete against California State University, San Bernardino.