Lady Eagles Close Regular Season With Weekend Split

By Tyler Moss

SCU Women’s basketball team closed out the regular season with a home split this weekend. Led by forward Jordan Gooch, the Lady Eagles showed the same resilience that has become their calling card in bouncing back from a tough loss Friday evening to secure a win on Saturday.

On Friday evening, the Lady Eagles hosted the Midlands Athletic Conference’s second-place team, College of the Ozarks, inside Pickens Springer Gymnasium on the campus of SCU. Despite trailing most of the first half, SCU held tough against a gritty Bobcats squad, trailing by only three points heading into the break.

But in the second half, the Lady Cats proved to be too much, putting the clamps down on the Lady Eagles offense to the tune of 24 percent field goal defense and cruising to a 74-56 win.

Gooch, a 6-1 sophomore from Cashion, Okla., made the most of her 19 minutes on the floor as she led the Lady Eagles in scoring with 10 points. Fellow sophomore Kim Hayes and senior LaPorchea Sanders each added eight points.

The Cats (26-3, 14-2) were led by sharp-shooting senior Kenzie Lauffer, who scored all 15 of her points on 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Bobcat sophomore Kayla Kepler was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points.

On Saturday, SCU took to the floor against Haskell Indians Nation University in a game that featured two teams tied with one another in the MCAC standings. Once again, the Lady Eagles found themselves in a tightly contested first half, with the Indians bouncing back every time SCU extended the lead to double digits. After leading by as many as 14 points, the Lady Eagles took a five-point lead in at the half behind a strong effort from junior Venessa Bledsoe.

In the second half, the Lady Eagles stepped up their effort on the defensive end, holding the Indians to 32 percent shooting from the floor. Meanwhile, SCU continued their hot shooting from the first half, knocking down 44 percent of their shots from the floor as five different players scored in double figures. The end result was a 77-67 win for the Lady Eagles.

Senior guard Ciara Thomas led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Gooch and Bledsoe each added 15. Senior tandem LaKaisha Jones and LaPorchea Sanders scored 13 and 10, respectively.

SCU closes out the regular season with a 12-17 record, including a 6-9 mark in MCAC action. The Lady Eagles will now begin preparation to compete in the MCAC Conference Tournament next weekend.