By James Ritchey
Men’s Basketball (9-12, 3-8 CalPac)
Jan. 25 (Away)
ERAU 68 – 71 Simpson University
The Eagles looked to repeat their previous offensive success, playing the Redhawks of Simpson University for the second time in two weeks.
Unfortunately, that same shooting could not be repeated, and ERAU dropped another crucial conference game.
The first few minutes of the game foreshadowed the rest, as both teams struggled shooting and the score remained tied at zero until about four minutes into the game.
The Redhawks built a small lead in the ensuing minutes, but ERAU took the lead from a Gilbert Ibarra three-pointer with 8:45 left in the first half.
The Eagles managed to build a 40-30 halftime lead, but the second half proved to play out differently.
In the first minutes of the second half, the Eagles kept up their accurate shooting, expanding their lead to 52-34 within five minutes.
After that, the Redhawks went on a 20-2 rampage to tie the game at 54-54, and the Eagles were never able to fully recover.
Despite regaining a small lead, the Eagles were unable to halt SU’s momentum, and SU took the lead with under a minute remaining.
The Redhawks held their lead in the final seconds of the game to pull away with the win. Gilbert Ibarra led the Eagles with 24 points.
Jan. 27 (Away)
ERAU 79 – 82 Pacific Union College
The Eagles dropped another tight game to finish a Northern California road trip against the Pioneers of PUC.
In the first half, the Pioneers held a small lead for most of the period, never leading by more than four points.
In the final 30 seconds, Kaden Herbert hit two free throws to give the Eagles a 40-39 lead going into halftime.
The Eagles kept that lead for the first ten minutes of the second half, holding as much as a nine point lead.
However, a series of key free throws by the Pioneers cut that lead and eventually reversed the flow of the game, as PUC never let go of their lead for the last nine minutes of the game.
The Eagles mounted a comeback effort that cut PUC’s lead to 79-80 with 1:29 remaining, but could not complete a comeback, and the Pioneers emerged victorious, 79-82. Nick Johnson led the Eagles with 24 points and three assists.
Feb. 1 (Home)
ERAU 68 – 83 Cal Maritime
The Eagles returned home desperate for a conference win to keep them in the running for a potential playoff spot but ultimately fell short against CMA.
In the first half, ERAU managed to keep the score close, trading leads with the Keelhaulers and going into halftime with a small 34-33 lead.
That pace continued for the first few minutes of the second half, as ERAU never had more than a two-possession lead.
However, with 14:32 left in the game, CMA hit a three pointer to take a 48-46 lead and never looked back.
The Keelhaulers went on a 23-4 run to power themselves into a massive lead, hitting several three pointers and outside jump shots to pull ahead.
The Eagles never built up any significant comeback, and dropped their sixth game in a row.
Nick Johnson was the top scorer for ERAU with 15 points and three assists.
Logan Skurdal added 13 points and three assists.
Feb. 3 (Home)
ERAU 58 – 53 UC Merced
The Eagles ended their losing streak with a solid conference win over the Bobcats of UC Merced.
Jaran Hoover scored the first points of the game with a three, after which UCM quickly tied the score.
Logan Skurdal hit another three minutes later to give ERAU an early lead, and Jaran Hoover would then hit yet another shot from beyond the arc to give the Eagles a 11-8 lead.
UCM kept the score close, taking the lead 20-22 with five minutes remaining in the half, but consistent outside shooting from the Eagles led to a recapture of the lead to carry them into halftime.
Jaran Hoover again hit a three for the first points of the half, and ERAU proceeded to go on a 10-2 run to secure a lead.
The Bobcats fought their way back from that deficit, and took a small lead with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Three pointers again gave the Eagles the lead again, this time for the rest of the game, with 4:21 left.
Two free throws in the final twenty seconds by Calvin Carmichael secured the win for the Eagles.
Jaran Hoover had five three-pointers and 16 total points to lead the Eagles.
Logan Skurdal put up three three-pointer shots and had 15 total points and four assists.
Women’s Basketball (20-3, 10-1 CalPac)
25 Jan (Away)
ERAU 76 – 45 Simpson University
ERAU continued their winning ways with another win over the Simpson University Redhawks.
After a 14-13 first quarter, the Eagles outscored their opponent by at least nine points in the last three quarters to roll past SU for a win.
In the second quarter, good three point shooting from Danae Ruiz and Bethany Wolph helped the Eagles expand their lead and prevent any kind of offensive momentum for the Redhawks.
The Eagles led 36-24 going into halftime. In the third and fourth quarter, ERAU refused to let up, maintaining strong shooting and keeping up their defensive effort.
Most of SU’s points in the fourth quarter came from free throws, enabling ERAU to take a resounding 31 point victory.
Katana Martina had 21 points in the win to lead the Eagles. Bethany Wolph hit four three pointers, and had a total of 15 points.
27 Jan (Away)
ERAU 67 – 47 Pacific Union College
The Eagles held the Pioneers to just eight points in the first half to earn another dominant conference win.
ERAU was relentless in the early parts of the game, holding a 16-4 lead after the first quarter due to good shooting.
Three-point shooting in the second quarter gave the Eagles as much as a 36-4 lead before PUC found any kind of offense.
Two PUC layups late in the quarter turned the halftime score to 36-8.
PUC turned themselves around after halftime but could not overcome ERAU’s massive lead.
The Pioneers were able to start a comeback, scoring 16 points in the third quarter, but ERAU matched each of those and maintained their margin of victory.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles let up, as their lead allowed them to do so.
The Pioneers mounted a significant comeback effort, but their first half struggles were far too much, and the Eagles still took the game with a 20-point lead.
Danae Ruiz had 18 points and Katana Martina had 10 to lead the Eagles.
1 Feb (Home)
ERAU 76 – 52 Cal Maritime
The Eagles won their eighth game in a row in a conference matchup against CMA.
A close first half worried the Eagles, but superior defense in the second half proved to be enough for a victory.
The Eagles started the game by pulling to a 9-0 lead, but the Keelhaulers soon came back, taking a 13-15 lead late in the first quarter.
ERAU regained the lead and ended the first quarter ahead 19-15.
The Eagles kept their lead throughout most of the second quarter, staying ahead by no more than a few points until CMA regained the lead with a three pointer with 44 seconds left in the half.
The half ended with ERAU down 33-34. After halftime, ERAU regained control of the game, limiting CMA to just six points in the third quarter.
ERAU went on a 9-0 run to end the third quarter, and CMA was unable to recover in the final period.
ERAU’s offensive momentum carried through the final quarter, as they outscored CMA 25-12 to take a 24 point victory.
Jazlyn Maletino scored 21 points to lead the Eagles. Katana Martina had 18 points, and Bethany Wolph made four three-pointers for 12 total points.
3 Feb (Home)
ERAU 64 – 60 UC Merced
Women’s Basketball extended their winning streak to nine games with a close win over UCM, currently second in CalPac standings behind the Eagles.
A strong first quarter gave the Eagles an early advantage in the game.
It was apparent that the game would remain close, as the both teams stayed within striking distance of a changing lead.
Jump shots from Jenna Knudson gave the Eagles a more sizeable lead, and ERAU ended the first quarter ahead 18-13.
In the second quarter, despite not shooting as well, the Eagles managed to stay ahead of the Bobcats through good defense, heading into halftime with a fragile 27-25 lead.
A tightly contested third quarter saw both sides take small leads, ending only as Bethany Wolph hit a three to bring the score to 38-36.
ERAU defense kept that lead throughout the fourth quarter, as ERAU guards continued to keep up an offensive effort.
Despite several threes from UCM, Danae Ruiz and Haley Villegas hit two free throws each in the final 15 seconds to ensure ERAU came away with the win.
Jazlyn Maletino had 17 points, and Jenna Knudson put up 12 points and three assists.
The Eagles’ winning streak and dominance of the CalPac conference earned them a spot in the national top 25 for the first time in program history, getting ranked 24, despite this being only the second season of the team’s existence.
2 Feb (Away)
ERAU 20 – 22 University of Providence
ERAU started a short road trip against two high-profile opponents with a match against the seventh-ranked University of Providence Argos.
ERAU took an early lead by winning the first matchup as Chandler Strand won by technical pin in the 125-pound set.
David Salazar also won his 141-pound bout, and Cameron Huizar’s major decision victory in the 149-pound weight class gave the Eagles a 12-3 lead.
However, the Argos came back, earning 6 points each in the 157-pound and 197-pound weight classes, and a major decision in the 174-pound matchup.
Everything came down to the Heavyweight matchup, which was nearly a stalemate.
David Rupp came out losing by a 0-1 decision, giving the Argos an extremely tight victory.
3 Feb (Away)
ERAU – Montana State University – Northern
The day after an extremely close matchup at University of Providence, the Eagles faced off with MSU-N, ranked twelfth in the nation.
MSU-N started very strongly, winning the first three matchups to give them a 0-12 lead.
Cameron Huizar and James Williams then proceeded to earn decision victories in the next two weight classes, halving the Lights’ lead.
After another close loss in the 165-pound matchup, Kody Davis earned an 11-3 major decision win to give the Eagles some optimism.
The Eagles needed a pin in the 184-pound bout for a match win, but freshman TJ Hall was only able to win by decision, still giving the Eagles three points.
ERAU fell just short in their final match before conference championships.
26-27 Jan (Away)
Softball started their season with a weekend tournament in Surprise, Ariz., hosted by Ottawa University.
The tournament brought together ERAU, College of Idaho, and OU’s inaugural softball team in competition to start the season. In their first game, the Eagles fell 2-11 to College of Idaho.
After a scoreless first inning, the Yotes pulled ahead with four runs in the second. ERAU was able to respond with two runs in the second, but a six-run third inning for CI sealed the game, and ERAU was unable to respond.
In the second game of the day, the Eagles faced the Spirit of OUAZ and had much better results.
After a close game for the first few innings, ERAU broke ahead with five runs in the sixth inning, to take a 8-4 lead, which they kept to win the game.
Haley Basye had four hits and four RBI in the win. On the second day, ERAU had two more games against the same two opponents.
In a rematch against CI, ERAU started off with two runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Three runs in the fourth and fifth inning pushed the Eagles to a commanding lead, and pitcher Bailey Critchlow closed out the game, only allowing one run in the last three innings to allow ERAU to win, 9-5.
In the final game of the weekend, ERAU again faced OUAZ, this time falling 8-12. The score remained close for most of the game, ERAU leading 8-6 going into the sixth inning.
However, the Spirit scored six runs in the sixth inning and held the Eagles to zero for the rest of the game.
2 Feb (Away)
ERAU 5 – 7, 4 – 0 San Diego Christian
The Eagles went on their first road trip of the season to Santee, Calif., to face the San Diego Christian College Hawks.
In the first game, the Eagles fell behind early, finding themselves down 1-5 by the start of the second inning.
ERAU was able to lock down their defense for most of the rest of the game, only allowing two runs in the next five innings.
A comeback began to form, as the Eagles scored three runs in the seventh to cut down the SDCC lead, but it was not enough, and the Hawks took game one. In the second game, a consistent offensive and defensive effort gave the Eagles a win.
Kaila Provost hit a ground-rule double in the third inning to score ERAU’s first run, then Rylee Payton walked with the bases loaded to score a second.
Kaila Provost again had an RBI in the sixth inning to solidify a lead. Olivia Ramos pitched a full seven innings with zero runs and four strikeouts.
Ottawa Co-Ed Spring Invitational
Both the ERAU Men’s and Women’s Golf teams competed in the Ottawa Spring Invitational at the Wigwam Heritage Red Course in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
On the first day of the tournament, the men’s team scored a total of 291, placing them in third overall.
After the second day, the competition moved closer as the Eagles’ 290 still kept them tied for third overall with Ottawa University.
On the final day, the Eagles broke ahead, taking a solid third place for the tournament with a score of 881, edging out OUAZ by one stroke.
Matt Andrews placed fifth individually with a weekend score of 208, including a tournament-best score of 65 on the second day.
The women’s team placed a close second overall, with a team weekend score of 959. Oklahoma City University took first by a score of 954, owing mainly to their 314 score on the first day.
Individually, Nicole Lopes placed third overall with a total score of 236. Elle Carson closely followed with a score of 237, placing fourth overall.