Nearly one month removed from its conference opener, Embry-Riddle’s women’s basketball team jumped back into league play on Thursday, losing at Cal-Merced, 66-57, to fall to 1-1 in the Cal-Pac.
The Bobcats extended their winning streak to six on their home floor in Merced, California. Embry-Riddle currently stands at 11-3 overall, while Cal-Merced improved to 10-6, 2-0 in conference.
“We did not play very well defensively; a lot of breakdowns in the first half,” Embry-Riddle coach Becky Burke said. “We dug ourselves a pretty big hole.”
Embry-Riddle trailed 39-27 at halftime, shooting only 27 percent from the floor (10 for 36, 1 of 9 from 3-point range). The Eagles outscored Merced, 30-27, in the second half, however, and finished with a 31 percent clip (22 for 71) from the field.
Katana Martina led ERAU offensively with 11 points and four rebounds. Jenna Knudson added nine points, 11 rebounds, five steals and five assists. Melissa Pfeifer (six points, 12 rebounds) and Haley Villegas (eight points, four assists and two steals) followed.
“Statistically, that may have been our worst shooting game of the year, and yet we found ourselves down five [points] with 3 minutes left, which is definitely a good sign for us,” Burke said. “We are already looking forward to the next matchup.”
On Dec. 7 in Prescott, the NAIA Division II Eagles rolled past Benedictine-Mesa, 72-56, to begin Cal-Pac action. Embry-Riddle opened the season on a 10-game winning streak, but it has now lost three of its last four contests. The Eagles will play host to Cal-Merced for the rematch at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at ERAU’s Activity Center in Prescott.
Embry-Riddle will conclude its short two-game conference road trip at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Cal Maritime Academy (5-11, 0-2 Cal-Pac) in Vallejo, California. The Eagles return to the ERAU Activity Center on Thursday, Jan. 11, when they play host to Simpson (California) at 5:30 p.m.
Cal-Merced hosts Cal-Pac opponent Benedictine-Mesa at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Doug Cook is a sports 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.