The 14th-ranked women’s basketball team brought home the gold on Monday against the Agnes Scott College Scotties and again on Wednesday against the Oglethorpe University Stormy Petrels. The Eagles’ record now stands at 8-0.
On Monday, the Eagles delivered a 70-42 victory over Agnes Scott. The Eagles shot 40.7 percent from the floor, towering over the Scotties 31.7 percent. The defense worked hard and forced the Scotties into 25 turnovers, many of which the Eagles converted into points.
“Our coaching staff has prepared us extremely well and with consistent hard work, discipline, and focus this year’s team will accomplish our ultimate goal: making the tournament and being the champions we all know we could be,” junior guard Marissa Resnick said.
Junior guard Hannah Lilly scored a team-high of 14 points, and senior forward Misha Jackson grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Senior center Danielle Landry and junior point guard Savannah Morgan contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, and sophomore center O’dez Oraedu completed the crew of double-digit scorers with 10.
Beyond her baskets, Morgan also contributed six assists in her 24 minutes of play. She has a total of 25 assists in her last four games.
Junior guard Selena Castillo recorded a career-high five steals playing strong offense all night. Freshman guard Khadijah Sayyid continued to impress the Emory fans with her three thefts.
The Eagles held a 21-14 lead with 7:57 left on the clock. They kept the pressure on, holding Agnes Scott scoreless for the rest of the period. The score stood at 30-14 going into the second half.
The Scotties opened up the half with a basket, but in what seemed like seconds, the Emory women responded with 11 unanswered points and brought their lead up to 41-16. For the rest of the game, the Scotties struggled to keep up. Emory led by as many as 38 points with 6:34 remaining on the clock.
On Wednesday, the girls kept the heat up to remain undefeated, defeating the Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe 69-41.
“Our hard work on defense fueled our balanced offensive scoring. Beating Oglethorpe was huge for us because we lost to them last year in a heart breaker,” Lilly said.
In this game, Emory shot 38 percent from the floor. Although Oglethorpe posted a similar mark, Emory posted a 43-27 advantage rebounding, including a 21-3 offensive edge, giving the Eagles a 26-2 advantage in second-chance points. Emory’s cutthroat defense constantly pushed away the opposing offense, and the Eagles recorded 15 steals and 25 points off turnovers.
“We did a great job moving around,” Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty. “Oglethorpe only had five points from the free-throw line vs. the usual 17, which was a result of our defensive efforts.”
Jackson converted 6-11 shots from the floor on her way to a team-high-tying seventh double-figure scoring effort of the season. Jackson also shone in the rebounding department, pulling down 13. Morgan kept up her consistent play with five points, five assists and no turnovers over the course of 29 minutes. In her last five performances, Morgan has contributed a total of 30 assists.
In the first half, Jackson and Lilly scored 11 and nine points, respectively, helping Emory to a 36-25 advantage at halftime. The Eagles held a 23-19 lead with 4:43 left on the clock. A three-pointer by Lilly and a 13-6 run pushed the women even further ahead.
“We struggle from the outside at time, but the girls did a tremendous job defending and getting on the glass,” Thomaskutty said. “The team got really into rebounding and defense, which is how you win a ball game.”
Oglethorpe put up a fight, with a three-pointer by Ali Bleckley bringing the Petrels to within 10 early in the second half. But Emory kept up the fight and came back with a 14-4 run, led by Oraedu and Castillo and held 54-34 lead with 9:20 left on the clock. Emory closed out the game with 14 points in the final seven minutes.
“We are very happy to be 8-0 right now, but as a team, we are far from satisfied,” Jackson said.
The Eagleswill be back on the court Saturday, Dec. 8, when they visit Maryville College (Tenn.).
— By Nicola Braginsky