In a pair of similar games, the women’s team routed UW Eau Claire, while the men’s team fell to UW River Falls.
By Josh Towner and Abby Pautz
Both men’s and women’s basketball hosted schools from Wisconsin Tuesday night for a home opener double header.
The women’s team wasted no time getting down to business against the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, as Makenna Pearson knocked down a three-pointer nine seconds into the game. The Royals continued to force two turnovers and score five more points in the first minute of the game, forcing the Blugold to take a timeout after just 51 seconds of play.
Defensively, the Royals dominated the Blugold, forcing 12 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game, and 32 total — and they did all this without defensive spark plug Tessah Anderson. In total, eight Royals recorded a steal tonight, with Bella Williams and Taite Anderson posting five steals a piece.
Offensively, the Royals knocked down four three-pointers in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 29 by the end of the quarter. Bethel outscored Eau Claire 37 to 8 in points off turnovers.
The women held on to win 77 to 54 after the Blugold slowly chipped at the Royals lead for most of the fourth quarter. Senior Taite Anderson led the team in scoring and rebounding with 22 points and 13 rebounds, notching her first double-double of the season.
Coach Jon Herbrechtsmeyer continued the program’s seven year winning streak in home openers, bringing his overall record in home openers to 13-4 across his seventeen seasons at the helm.
The women’s team travels to Wisconsin River-Falls next Wednesday to take on the Falcons, looking to start 3-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Later in the evening, the men’s team fell behind early in the game and never recovered. Between turnovers, fouls, and butterfingers the Royals could not find a way to keep the game close against the Eagles. The teams last met in late Nov. 2018, when the Royals lost by just three points. That season, the Royals finished with a 19-8 record while the Eagles went 17-10.
Offensively the Eagles dominated the Royals. The Royals went 20-61 on field goals, 6-23 on three pointers making their three point percentage 26.1. While the Eagles went 27-53 on field goals, 9-16 on three pointers making their three point percentage 56.3. The Royals did have 33 rebounds and went 15 of 24 on free throws. Senior Granger Kingland led the way with 11 rebounds and made all 5 of his free throws, while senior Jack Jensen led the team with 21 points, 5 assists 35 minutes played.
Towards the end of the game, the Royals caught glimpses of hope. The teams exchanged foul shots for the last 3 minutes of the game, and the Royals cut the lead down to 59-72 with 32.4
seconds left in the second half, but the Royals couldn’t pull through and lost to the Eagles 62-73.
The men’s team will travel to Waverly, Iowa next Tuesday to take on the Knights, looking to improve their season to 2-1.