Women’s basketball player Jessica Eggleston has been on fire lately.
Last week, against Cal State Fullerton the junior forward scored a career-high 21 points on eight of 14 shooting. Eggleston surpassed her own career high the following game against UC Irvine by nailing 11 of 14 shots for 25 points. She also added eight rebounds in each contest.
“I really wasn’t even aware of it. I knew I scored 21 points, but it was all lay-ups,” Eggleston said. “It wasn’t like I took people and did them up or anything. I felt like I played a normal game.”
“Getting 25 the next night made me happy,” she added, “but I wasn’t overwhelmed or anything.”
Eggleston’s performances last week earned her Big West Basketball Player of the Week honors.
Although she has always been a solid rebounder, Eggleston has really stepped up her scoring this season. Shooting .512 percent from the floor, .308 percent from behind the arc and .811 percent from the free throw line has helped Eggleston lead the lady Mustangs in points per game, with 12.6.
Eggleston credits extra work on her shot while rehabilitating from a torn meniscus she suffered last season. Since she wasn’t cleared to practice with the team, Eggleston said she worked on what she could while recovering from surgery.
“I really worked on my shot with my father – that was really what I wanted to focus on,” she said. “Lay-ups and the 17-foot range.”
Eggleston’s increase in the scoring department has not come at the cost of other areas of her game. Her 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game also lead the Mustangs, and her 2.4 assists per game ranks third on the team.
“She’s provided a level of athleticism that is hard for most teammates and opponents to match,” coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “Both offensively and defensively she’s been a leader on the court – all the hard work she’s put in during the off season has really paid off.”
The solid numbers Eggleston has put up so far have helped the women’s basketball team off to an impressive start (8-5 overall, 3-1 Big West). Being a leader on a successful team is a role Eggleston has said she had to progress in to.
“It’s a challenge day-to-day because I’ve had to step up my vocal role and I’m kind of a shy person,” she said. “I don’t put a lot of pressure of myself, but I know I need to score a good amount of points for us to be successful.”
“I also need to be more focused than I have been in the past,” she added. “Before I could just go after the rebounds, now I have to focus more on my scoring, my passing, being in the right places and being more aware on the court.”
Eggleston’s leadership will be needed tonight as the Mustangs take on UC Davis (6-8) in a non-conference match up at 7 p.m. in Mott Gym. Cal Poly has the edge (14-13) in the all-time series against the Aggies. Davis will be coming off a win against Long Beach St, (a team that defeated Cal Poly in their last contest), and a loss against UC Irvine.