Originally Published: January 5, 2019 9:30 p.m.
REDDING, Calif. — Let this serve as a warning to Cal Pac Conference opponents that might face Embry-Riddle’s women’s basketball team after an Eagles loss this season – don’t let your guard down.
The Eagles, who were coming off of a narrow 73-71 setback to conference leader Cal-Merced on Thursday, snapped Simpson of California’s five-game winning streak on Saturday, Jan. 5, cruising to a 75-35 victory in Cal Pac play at the James M. Grant Center.
ERAU improved its record to 12-3 and 2-1 in conference, while Simpson dropped to 10-7 and 2-1.
The Eagles schooled Simpson in every facet of the game on Saturday.
They outrebounded the Red Hawks, 51-30, and limited the hosts to 27.5 percent shooting from the field (11 for 40), including 2 of 17 from 3-point range (12 percent). ERAU also had 25 assists to Simpson’s 11 and forced the Red Hawks into 23 turnovers, 21 of which came on steals.
At the free-throw line, Embry-Riddle sparkled, going 14 for 15 (93 percent) to Simpson’s 11 of 24 (44 percent).
Three Eagles scored in double figures, paced by Jenna Knudson’s 15 points (5 for 5 free throws), five rebounds and five assists. Kamryn Browne tallied a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Bethany Wolph followed with 14 points (4 of 6 from 3-point range), two boards and an assist. Melissa Pfeifer added nine points and nine rebounds. Jazlyn Maletino (eight points, 6 of 6 free throws, seven rebounds) and Haley Villegas (six points, two rebounds, four assists) aided in the effort.
In the paint, Embry-Riddle outscored Simpson, 34-16, and had 20 second-chance points to the Red Hawks’ zero. And the Eagles’ bench outscored Simpson’s, 33-14. No Red Hawks player notched double-figures scoring.
Embry-Riddle had grabbed a 40-17 lead by the 8-1/2-minute mark of the third quarter, and the Eagles didn’t look back, ballooning their advantage to 37 points, 58-21, by the end of the period.
The Eagles were up 15-8 at the end of the first quarter. But they would go on an 11-0 run, which lasted for the first 7 minutes of the second quarter, en route to a 35-17 halftime lead.
Wolph carried Embry-Riddle in the opening half, scoring a game-high 11 points on the strength of 3 of 3 shooting from beyond the arc. Knudson (eight points, two rebounds, two assists), Pfeifer (five points, five rebounds) and Browne (five points, four boards) followed.
ERAU outrebounded Simpson, 25-15, in the first half and held the Red Hawks to a paltry 27.8 percent from the field (5 of 18), including 0 for 8 from 3-point range.
Embry-Riddle returns home to the ERAU Activity Center in Prescott for its next two Cal Pac contests this week.
The Eagles battle NAIA No. 9-ranked Antelope Valley of California (11-3, 2-0 Cal Pac through Friday) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, and La Sierra of California (4-11, 1-1 through Friday) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.
Simpson plays host to Pacific Union College (1-13, 0-2 through Friday) at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10, at the James M. Grant Center in Redding, California.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.