Emory women’s basketball earned two critical road wins this weekend against Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) Feb. 9 and Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) Feb. 11. Building on a respectable road record, the Eagles overcame a nine-point halftime deficit in a nail-biting victory against Carnegie Mellon 66-64 and secured a win over Case Western Reserve 73-62.
Coming off a road trip in which the Eagles fell to both University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), the pressure was on to end their UAA slump.
In the game against Carnegie Mellon, the Emory trio of sophomore forward Erin Lindahl (16 points), junior guard Azzairia Jackson-Sherrod (11 points) and junior center Ashley Oldshue (22 points on 8-12 shooting) led the Eagles’ attack.
“We just started being more aggressive in the second half, which led us to a few runs in the third quarter,” Oldshue said, noting that the team usually plays more of an up-and-down pace.
The game came down to the wire as Emory notched a 66-64 victory after they trailed 30-39 at halftime. The Eagles’ aggression in the second half proved to be a major factor in gaining control of the game down the stretch.
“The best teams win on the road,” Interim Head Coach Misha Jackson said. “You have to win big games on the road together. [Our team] stayed together and didn’t panic when they faced adversity. They made the decision in the locker room at halftime to do what it takes.”
Building on the confidence that came with the win over Carnegie Mellon, Emory came from behind again for a resounding victory over Case Western.
The Eagles outscored Case Western 43-30 in the second half in what turned out to be an efficient offensive performance, with Emory shooting over 50 percent from the floor and with 20 assists in the game. The second-half surge was yet another testament to the team’s ability to make critical adjustments in the second half.
“We had the effort but not the execution,” Oldshue said. “[Case Western plays] a zone that we weren’t used to … so we had to adjust even though we weren’t getting the inside looks that we thought.”
In addition to another balanced scoring effort in which Lindahl, Oldshue and Jackson-Sherrod scored 20, 15 and 14 points, respectively, it was the team’s defensive effort that helped them create separation.
“It was determination and the defensive piece,” Jackson said. “[Sophomore point guard] Hazel Carmona and [sophomore guard/forward] Safiya Dzotsi were making the other team’s point guards work and the rest of the team wanted to reward their teammates by playing hard behind them.”
The weekend’s road wins present an opportunity to build confidence and consistency.
“It was a good weekend for us,” Oldshue said. “Both games we didn’t start out well and had to adjust. These teams can throw different things at us when we play them again, so we need to be able to adjust in the game.”
The victories bring the Eagles to an overall record of 12-10, 6-5 in the UAA. Their next game is against New York University at home Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.