By James Ritchey
Men’s Basketball (8-9, 2-5 CalPac)
6 January (Away)
ERAU 68 – 78 Cal Maritime
Cal Maritime’s late game surge brought them on top of a tight conference game against the Eagles. The Keelhaulers began the game with a quick 0-8 lead, but the Eagles fought back to enter halftime tied 34-34. ERAU finally took the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, building a 41-34 lead off an and-one shot and foul on Nick Johnson and two free throws from Jaran Hoover. The Eagles were able to maintain their lead for the first 12 minutes of the half, but a series of turnovers allowed the Keelhaulers to pull ahead in the final minutes. Gilbert Ibarra led the Eagles with 19 points, while Nick Johnson added 18 points and two assists.
11 January (Home)
ERAU 102 – 94 Simpson
The Eagles set a new scoring record in an offense-dominant victory over Simpson University in a CalPac game. ERAU came out of the gate strongly, earning a 17-4 lead in the first few minutes due to outstanding shooting from Jaran Hoover and Ryan Skurdal. The Redhawks managed to cut the deficit to four at 12:22 into the first half, but ERAU never allowed their lead to falter any more. Within three minutes, the Eagles had expanded their lead to 33-17, and remained relentless for the rest of the half. Halftime saw the Eagles hold a 54-35 lead. In the second half, ERAU continued performing well, never letting their lead falter. Outstanding shooting gave the Eagles as much as a 23-point lead margin. The last few minutes saw the Redhawks begin to mount a comeback, but it never saw fruition and the clock ran out with a 102-94 score. Four Eagles scored in double figures: Nick Johnson (24), Gilbert Ibarra (18), Calvin Carmichael (17), and Jaran Hoover (11). Jaran Hoover sank three three-pointers, while Gilbert Ibarra, Marshall Thompson, and Ryan Skurdal each had two.
13 January (Home)
ERAU 79 – 82 Pacific Union College
The Eagles’ explosive offense was unable to secure a win against the Pioneers of Pacific Union, faltering late in the game. The first half saw both teams hold the lead, neither leading by more than two possessions. Two free throws by Kaden Herbert gave ERAU a 40-39 lead entering halftime. In the second half, two three-pointers by Ryan Skurdal gave ERAU an eight point lead, which the Eagles held until about nine minutes left in the game. From that point, the Pioneers would not let up, controlling the ball well and shooting with precision. The Eagles managed to get within two points of the Pioneers, but could not regain their lead before time expired. Nick Johnson again led the Eagles with 24 points and three assists.
18 January (Home)
ERAU 56 – 63 La Sierra
Poor shooting plagued the Eagles as they dropped another conference game to the Golden Eagles of La Sierra. In the first half, ERAU and LSU remained very close, exchanging the lead a few times. LSU held a lead for most of the first half, but never led by more than six. ERAU went into the half trailing 21-23, a change from their previous high-scoring games. LSU kept their small lead for most of the second half, until ERAU tied the game at 41-41. Unfortunately, LSU pulled ahead shortly after, and although the game remained close, ERAU was unable to regain a lead. Logan Skurdal led the Eagles with 21 points, including four three-pointers.
20 January (Home)
ERAU 49 – 64 University of Antelope Valley
The Eagles lost their third home conference game in a row against the Pioneers of University of Antelope Valley, who had received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll. Turnovers and poor shooting prevented ERAU from putting up much of a fight in the first half. After tying the game at 6-6, UAV pulled ahead and never looked back. The Eagles found themselves in a 19-point deficit with three minutes left in the half, and at that point they showed some optimism to bring the halftime score to 17-31. The little momentum ERAU had built at the end of the first half was all for naught, as UAV came into the second half continuing their superior shooting ability and expanding their lead to 23-49 through a series of three-pointers and jump shots. ERAU never found its stride, and were restricted to 27 percent shooting throughout the game. The Eagles were 4-23 from three-point range. Calvin Carmichael led the Eagles with 10 points, while Kaden Herbert added nine.
Women’s Basketball (15-6, 6-1 CalPac)
6 January (Away)
ERAU 81 – 76 Cal Maritime
The Eagles travelled to Northern California in a conference game against the Keelhaulers of California Maritime Academy. The Keelhaulers were at the bottom of conference standings at the time, but the Eagles ensured that they did not underestimate CMA’s skill. The first quarter was close, with ERAU striking first but CMA coming back to end the quarter leading 12-17. Both teams shot well, and were able to effectively control the ball, but CMA kept hold of their lead, going into halftime with a score of 39-46. After halftime, the Eagles came alive and took control of the game, scoring a total of 21 points in the third quarter compared to CMA’s nine. ERAU took their first lead since the opening minutes with a three-pointer from Haley Villegas, and the Eagles never looked back. ERAU kept up with precision shooting in the fourth quarter to win with a score of 81-76 at the sound of the final buzzer. Jazlyn Maletino led the Eagles with 17 points and two assists. Haley Villegas and Katana Martina both added 16 points, Villegas making four three-pointers.
11 January (Home)
ERAU 67 – 55 Simpson
A tight first half preceded ERAU’s offense pinning down the Redhawks in the second half to allow the Eagles to remain on top of conference standings. The first quarter saw two lead changes, and a three-pointer from Haley Villegas tied the game at 18 as the quarter ended. The second quarter played out much the same way, as the Eagles held on to a fragile lead, until a three from Simpson gave them a 34-35 lead going into halftime. Halfway through the third quarter, Bethany Wolf hit a go-ahead shot to give the Eagles the lead, and ERAU never let go again. ERAU’s defense reigned supreme in the fourth quarter, preventing any Redhawk points until less than four minutes left in the game, while the Eagles continuously expanded their lead. Simpson was held to nine total points in the fourth compared to ERAU’s 16, as the final buzzer sounded with a 67-55 Eagle win. Jazlyn Maletino again led the Eagles with 20 points, including hitting eight of ten free throws. Danae Ruiz had 16 points, six assists, and seven steals.
13 January (Home)
ERAU 115 – 60 Pacific Union College
The Eagles set a record for points scored as they crushed the PUC Pioneers in a home conference game. ERAU set the pace by scoring the first 10 points of the game, then proceeded to keep up with their precision shooting, ending the first quarter with a 37-12 lead. The second half played out slightly slower, as the Eagles only scored 21 points to the Pioneers’ 10, but the game seemed to be decided already. ERAU continued their dominant play in the second half, continuing their constant pressure on the PUC defense. The Eagles only relented with the final buzzer’s sound, the scoreboard showing the Eagles with nearly twice the amount of points as the Pioneers. Danae Ruiz had seven three-pointers, nine assists, and 33 total points. Haley Villegas had 21 points and six assists, and Allese Williams had 15 points.
18 January (Home)
ERAU 84 – 66 La Sierra
ERAU again took off in the second half to break away past La Sierra to earn their fourth straight conference win. LSU earned a quick 0-6 lead in the first quarter, and ERAU could not form a lasting lead, ending the first down 19-20. The Eagles trailed slightly until Amber Rollins hit a three early in the second. LSU regained their lead briefly, but in the final three minutes of the half, ERAU pulled ahead to a 38-33 lead. In the second half, the Eagles showed no mercy, continuing with their offensive pressure and making sure LSU was unable to accomplish any lasting comeback. By the time the fourth quarter had come, the exhausted LSU players were unable to keep up with the Eagles, being outscored 23-16 in the quarter. Five different ERAU players scored double digits; Bethany Wolph led with 15 total points on five three-pointers. Katana Martina scored 14 points on six of eight field goals, while Danae Ruiz had 13 points.
20 January (Home)
ERAU 89 – 82 University of Antelope Valley
Winning their fifth conference game in a row, the Eagles proved their worth at the top of the CalPac standings, again pulling ahead late in the game to secure a win. Four lead changes in the first quarter signified how the rest of the game would play out, and the second quarter began with a fragile ERAU lead of 23-21. Good defense on both sides restricted any significant offensive push, and a last second three gave UAV a halftime lead of 42-45. The third quarter showed little change from the play of the first two, as both teams held small leads at different points, UAV leading by two going into the final quarter. It was then that the Eagles did what they do best: sinking several outside shots, drawing fouls, and making free throws to take a formidable lead. A three from Danae Ruiz tied the game at 64 with 7:30 left in the game, and two free throws from Melissa Pfeifer shortly after gave the Eagles the lead they craved. As a team, the Eagles made 18 of 20 free throws in the fourth quarter, ensuring their success. Katana Martina led ERAU with 23 points, while Danae Ruiz had 18.
4-5 January (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
NWCA National Duals
ERAU traveled to Indiana to compete in the prestigious National Wrestling Coaches Association tournament, playing five matches and winning three. The first day of the tournament saw the Eagles face off with University of Providence, University of Jamestown, and Lindsey Wilson College. In the match against Providence, the Eagles started off with three wins, but were only able to earn one more win out of the last seven matchups, dropping the match with a final score of 14-18. The Eagles proved themselves to be strong contenders in their next match against Jamestown, losing only the 184-pound and 141-pound weight classes. Chandler Strand and David Salazar both earned fall victories, leaving the Eagles to take the match with a decisive 34-7 score. The final match of the first day was against #11 Lindsey Wilson. David Salazar again earned a fall in the 149-pound weight class, and Elias Mason and David Rupp also earned falls in the 197 and 285-pound matchups, leading the Eagles to a 31-15 victory. The second day of the tournament saw the Eagles face off with University of the Cumberlands and Campbellsville University. Against Cumberlands, the Eagles were only able to win three matchups, losing the match 30-11. However, ERAU finished the tournament with a strong win over Campbellsville, coming back from a 0-9 deficit to win 22-15. Elias Mason and David Rupp again earned falls in the final two matches to seal the victory for the Eagles. Overall, ERAU placed seventh in the tournament.
13 January (Home)
ERAU 46 – 10 Simpson
The Eagles earned a decisive victory over conference foes Simpson in a home match. ERAU started with a considerable advantage after the Redhawks forfeited the first three matches. However, in additional matchups, the Eagles proved they needed no handicap to win. David Salazar earned a fall in the 149-pound bout, and Payton Mair ensured an Eagle victory with a fall win in the 184-pound matchup. The Redhawks only took two victories in the match, in the 157-pound and 174-pound matchups. David Rupp closed out the day with a quick fall in the Heavyweight bout.
19 January (Away)
ERAU 24 – 17 Southern Oregon University
The Eagles struggled to begin their first match of an Oregon road trip, but pulled ahead in the final bouts to earn a match victory. David Salazar gave the Eagles their first points with a fall in the 149-pound weight class. The Eagles then took the final five matchups, with Taylor Owens earning a technical fall, and Tyler Hall taking a 12-0 major decision in the 184-pound weight class.
19 January (Away)
ERAU 7 – 33 Simon Fraser University
The Eagles did not fare as well in their second match of the day, against Simon Fraser University, dropping seven of nine sets. The Eagles started out strongly, as Chandler Strand won by decision in the 125-pound weight class and Colin Anderson won by 18-8 major decision in the 133-pound bout. Simon Fraser then proceeded to dominate the Eagles by winning each remaining matchup, three by way of a pin.
20 January (Away)
ERAU 30 – 15 Eastern Oregon
ERAU pulled off a strong win against Eastern Oregon, ranked #17 in the nation. Chandler Strand led off the match with a pin in the 125-pound matchup, giving the Eagles an early advantage. Cameron Huizar earned a 10-2 major decision in his 141-pound bout, and David Salazar pinned his opponent in the 149-pound match to expand the ERAU team lead. Kody Davis and Tyler Hall both earned major decision wins in the 174- and 184-pound matchups to ensure a strong team victory.
20 January (Away)
ERAU 31 – 6 Warner Pacific
The Eagles won eight of nine total sets to close out a long weekend with a dominant win. Chandler Strand won by major decision in the first matchup, and was followed by four straight decision wins. After a pin loss in the 165-pound matchup, Kody Davis ensured the Eagles maintained their momentum with a pin win in the next bout. David Rupp had a pin in the heavyweight matchup to close out a successful road trip for the Eagles.