OMAHA, NEBRASKA: The Royals hosted the Emmaus Bible College Eagles on Saturday, January 20, for their second matchup this season. Earlier this season, the Royals lost to the Eagles on the road 58-78; this game, the Royals pulled ahead late in the game for a 76-71 victory at home. The Royals are now 11-11 this season, more wins than the program has had in a season since the 2012-13 season.
The Royals played the Eagles evenly from the start of the game. In the first quarter, the score was tied twice, and the lead changed four times. Neither team gained more than a 5-point advantage; at the end of the first quarter, the Royals were down 14-18. In the second quarter, the Eagles led by as many as 9 points at 18-29; the Royals responded with a 14-2 run to take the lead at 32-31 with three minutes left in the half. The two teams exchanged baskets for the next three minutes, and the Royals entered the second half with a 39-38 advantage.
In the second half, the two teams kept the game close; neither team gained more than a 1-point advantage until halfway through the third quarter when Emmaus pulled ahead 44-46. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Royals were up 50-49; they closed the third quarter with an 11-0 run to gain a 61-49 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Royals led by as many as 13 points at 66-53; the Eagles rallied for a 9-0 run to bring the score back to 66-62. A few last-minute free throws from the Royals enabled them to hang onto their lead, and they won the game 76-71.
The Royals shot 42.9% from the field (27 of 63), 29.4% from the 3-point line (5 of 17), and 73.9% from the free throw line (17 of 23). The Eagles shot 38.2% from the field (26 of 68), 33.3% from the 3-point line (9 of 27), and 50% from the free throw line (10 of 20). The Royals had 25 points off turnovers, 12 second-chance points, and 34 points in the paint, and the Eagles had 29 points off turnovers, 6 second-chance points, 32 points in the paint, and 7 bench points. The Royals had 37 rebounds, 11 assists, and 20 steals to the Eagles' 44 rebounds, 13 assists, and 11 steals.
Five of the Royals scored in double digits. Karen Orozco led the Royals in scoring with 22 points and 5 steals, followed closely by Tschida Johnson with a career-high 20 points and 8 rebounds. Marisa Brown had her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Darielle Evans had 12 points, 7 steals, and 3 assists. Alyssa Strickland contributed 10 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The Eagles were led by Madison Laib with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Tiffany Williams contributed 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.
UP NEXT: The Royals will travel to Forest City, Iowa, to play the Waldorf College Warriors on Tuesday, January 23. Their next home game will be Saturday, February 3, against Oglala-Lakota College, starting at 1 p.m.
By Loretta Gamboe, SID Staff