Henry, Brinkley, and Smith Earn Team Awards at Annual Banquet

April 8, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University women’s basketball team recently held their annual awards banquet with Arianne Henry, Michaela Brinkley, and Jessica Smith earning team awards.

Brinkley, Haley Padgett, and Lauren Austin each received coaches’ awards, and Brinkley, Smith, and Rebekah Capeder each earned statistical awards.

Henry and Capeder were also honored for earning NAIA Scholar-Athlete accolades in March, and Brinkley was honored for earning All-HAAC and NAIA All-American awards for her play this season.

Avila University head women’s basketball coach Larry Williams said that he is proud of all of his players for their hard work throughout this season.

“Overall, I am extremely proud of how our team battled this season,” said Williams. “To be able to get everyone together again and reward their hard work was rewarding for me, and I hope they felt the same.”

The Eagles missed the HAAC tournament by way of a tie breaker, but were playing some of their best basketball of the season down the stretch.

Coach Williams said that he likes bringing the team together to remember the good parts of the season, but that he is excited to keep preparing for next season.

“It’s great to dwell on the good times of a season, and we will miss our two seniors, but I know we are all excited to keep working to get better next season. This is a great group of girls, and we are all eager to get started.

The following is a complete list of the awards that were handed out at the Women’s Basketball Awards Banquet:

Team Awards

Captains Award: Arianne Henry

Heart and Hustle Award: Michaela Brinkley

Iron Eagle Award: Jessica Smith

Coaches Awards

MVP: Michaela Brinkley

6th Man Award: Lauren Austin

Eagle Award: Haley Padgett

Statistical Awards

Free Throw & 3-Point %: Michaela Brinkley

2-Point % & Rebounds: Rebekah Capeder

Steals & Assists: Jessica Smith

Brinkley Garners All-America Honors

March 27, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Avila University junior guard Michaela Brinkley was named to the 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I Women’s Basketball All-America Honorable Mention team the NAIA announced Wednesday afternoon.

Players were selected by the NAIA-Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association All-America Committee, with each team—first, second and third—consisting of 10 members. The honorable mention list consisted of 49 members. Overall, 9 players from the HAAC made the list. Complete List

Brinkley, a 5-7 guard from Kearney, Mo. (Kearney HS), led the Eagles in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game, which was also tops in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). Her 480 total points this season were good for third in the HAAC. Brinkley finished in the top ten in nearly every offensive category this season in the HAAC, including second place finishes in three point field goals (89) and three point field goals per game (3.42) She also finished second in the NAIA in both categories.

Brinkley shot 37.6 percent from the field, including 34.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 74.5 percent from the free throw line. She set career highs in many categories this season, including points in a game (38), field goals made (11), three point field goals made (8), rebounds (11), assists (11), and steals (4). Brinkley scored 30+ points 3 times this season, and scored in double figures in 23 of 26 games. Brinkley was a second-team All-HAAC selection this season.

Two Eagles Named to 2014 Daktronics Scholar-Athlete List

March 25, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The NAIA office released their 2014 Daktronics Scholar-Athlete's list this week, with two Eagles making the list. The Eagles ranked third in the HAAC behind both Central Methodist, 5, and Benedictine, 3. A total of 18 athletes received scholar-athlete honors in the HAAC. The following Eagles received scholar-athlete honors: Complete List

Arianne Henry - Senior | Humansville, Missouri

Rebekah Capeder – Junior | Trenton, Missouri

This is the second straight year that Arianne Henry has made the Scholar-Athlete list. To qualify for the honor, student-athletes must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status in order qualify. 128 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball student-athletes nationally have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Brinkley Earns All-HAAC Honors

March 4, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) released the All-Conference Women’s Basketball teams, and junior guard Michaela Brinkley was named a Second Team All-HAAC selection..

Brinkley had a very successful year for the Eagles, averaging 18.5 points, 5.31 rebounds, 3.23 assists, and 1.27 steals per game during the 2013-14 campaign.

Brinkley said she was honored to be named by the HAAC, but that she didn't earn the award by herself.

It is a real honor to be named 2nd Team All Conference in the HAAC," said Brinkley. "It is a very competitive atmosphere so I am very fortunate to receive this recognition, but I could not have accomplished this without my teammates."

Brinkley, a Trimble, Mo. native, finished the season ranked in the top 30 nationally in four different categories, including total scoring (30th) and points per game (22nd).  Brinkley also finished third in the nation in 3-point field goals made with 89 and second in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game with 3.4.

Brinkley scored in double figures in 23 of the 26 games she played in this season, scoring 20 or more points 11 times.  She had a streak of six straight games early in the season where she scored 20+ points, including a career high 38 points against Sterling on November 9, 2013, her first of three 30-point games on the season. She also grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds in the game against Sterling.

Brinkley fought through a few injuries late in the season, and nearly led the Eagles into the postseason, but Avila ultimately missed the HAAC tournament due to the tiebreaker rules.

She said that it was tough to miss out on the postseason tournament this season, but that the team has already started preparing to get better for next season.

We can't change what happened but we can learn and move on from where we were this year to the following season," she said. "We are setting goals to get into the tournament next year and we are already working extremely hard on the court and in the weight room to become better. We are eager and ready to start back up and get to work!"

To see the full list of the All-HAAC selections, click here


Eagles Finish Season with Win on Senior Day

March 1, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Before the Avila University women’s basketball team could honor its seniors, they had a game to play against the Culver-Stockton Wildcats.

The Eagles (7-19, 5-13), who had an up and down season, finished it off with a convincing 60-49 win over the Wildcats (4-22, 1-17), sending their two seniors, Stephanie Miller and Arianne Henry, out in style.

Rebekah Capeder led the scoring charge for the Eagles, pouring in 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting.  Michaela Brinkley added 14 points for the Eagles.

Avila was in control of the game from the tip, starting the game off on a 7-0 run and never looking back.  The Eagles never trailed in the game, and they forced the Wildcats to 25 percent shooting in the game with stingy defense.

Avila’s seniors, Stephanie Miller and Arianne Henry, finished their careers at Avila in different ways, but both will go out as winners.

Henry left the team after the first semester to pursue her degree by student teaching, but still came to as many games as possible to support her teammates.

Miller earned her fourth start of the season on Saturday, scoring 2 points, and pulling down a career-high 7 rebounds in 31 minutes.

The win put the Eagles in a 3-way tie for seventh place in the conference with Peru St. and Evangel, but due to the tie-breaker rules, Peru St. finished with the 7-seed and Evangel with the 8-seed, with Avila settling for ninth.

To view a photo album of the Senior Day festivities, click here

Eagles to Honor Miller, Henry on Senior Day

February 28, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University women’s basketball team will honor its two seniors, Stephanie Miller and Arianne Henry, on Saturday after their final game of the regular season against Culver-Stockton.

The presentation will take place after the women’s game, but before the men’s game on Saturday.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller has been a member of the Avila women’s basketball season for the past three seasons after transferring from MidAmerica Nazarene University following her freshman year.

Miller has appeared in 51 games for the Eagles over her three seasons, earning three starts in the 2013-14 season.  She has averaged 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in her career, and is averaging 4.0 points and 2.28 rebounds per game this season.

Miller tied a career high with 11 points three different times this season, with the most recent being against Central Methodist on February 15.  She also scored 11 points earlier in the year against Baker and Missouri Valley.

Miller has played through multiple injuries that have plagued her college career, but head coach Larry Williams said she has never used that as an excuse, and that she is a remarkable person.

“Stephanie is an inspiration to me and her teammates by having a positive attitude through physical adversity most of her collegiate career,” said Williams.  “(Stephanie has) great heart, perseverance, and all those ingredients needed to make it in the world.”

Miller said that the greatest thing about playing for Avila was the relationships that she built with teammates.

“Playing at Avila has really taught me the true value of friendship and the relationships you build with your teammates, which in the long run become your basketball family.”

Arianne Henry

Arianne Henry is a four-year player at Avila University, and she is a living definition of what it means to be a student-athlete.

Henry played in 47 games for the Eagles over her four years, including two starts in four games in the 2013-14 season before she chose to leave the team after the first semester to focus on her teaching degree. 

Henry averaged one point and one rebound for her career, and won the 2012 “6th Man Award” for her “hustle and give-all” throughout that season.

Henry also received the Emil S. Liston Award at the HAAC level 2012, was nominated as an Individual Champion of Character in 2012 for the 5 Values of NAIA standards, and was the winner of the individual Dr. Fred Geer Cup for having highest female student-athlete GPA (4.0) in the 2011-12 school year.

Coach Williams had nothing but great things to say about Henry when asked about her as a player and as a person.

“(Arianne’s) an outstanding example of the high ideals and standards held by Avila University,” said Williams. “Her character is exemplified by her consistent perseverance and dedication.  I would want my grandchildren to have her as a teacher in school.”

When asked what her best moment was in an Avila uniform, Henry said it was making it to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Tournament.

“The best moment for me as a player at Avila was winning in double overtime against Freed-Hardeman to make it to the Sweet Sixteen in the National Tournament,” said Henry.  “It was this day that we proved to the world that Avila University is a contender.”

Avila Travels to MidAmerica Needing a Victory

February 26, 2014

Olathe, KS – The Avila University women’s basketball team earned a much needed win on Saturday with an 87-82 overtime victory over Graceland, but a victory at No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene on Thursday night is all the Eagles have on their mind.

Avila currently sits all alone in ninth place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings, one game behind eighth-place Evangel. In order to earn a spot in the HAAC tournament, the Eagles need to win at MidAmerica on Thursday, and follow that with a victory over Culver-Stockton on Saturday to give themselves a chance. They would also need a pair of losses from Evangel to earn the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Eagles will need to continue to riding the hot hands of Jessica Smith, Michaela Brinkley, and Rebekah Capeder, who each scored 24 points in Avila’s overtime victory last Saturday.

Avila lost the first matchup of the season with MidAmerica, 67-41.

The game is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at MidAmerica Nazarene University.  You can follow the games live using the following links:

Live Stats

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Avila Survives in Overtime to Defeat Graceland, 87-82

February 22, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Michaela Brinkley, Jessica Smith, and Rebekah Capeder each scored 24 points apiece to help lead the Avila University Eagles to an 87-82 overtime victory over the Graceland Yellowjackets on Saturday afternoon.

Brinkley also added 11 assists before injuring her leg with 4:26 remaining in the game.

The Eagles (4-12, 6-18) stayed alive in the Heart of America Athletic Conference race with the victory, and sit just one game behind Evangel, who lost today to No. 13 Baker by a score of 63-32.

Avila came out firing in the first half, shooting a staggering 60 percent. The Eagles also hit 6 3-pointers in the first half, and went into the break leading 39-33. Brinkley, Smith, and Capeder scored all 39 points for the Eagles in the first half.

The Eagles held an 8 point lead when Brinkley went down, but the Yellowjackets stormed back after the injury, and Gabrielle Lapinski tied the game at 76 with 31 seconds to play in regulation.

Avila turned the ball over with 9 seconds to go, but Graceland was unable to score, sending the game into overtime.

Avila outscored the Yellowjackets 11-6 in the overtime period, and Stephanie Miller gave the Eagles a huge boost to help seal the victory.

Avila will travel to Olathe, Kan. on Thursday to play MidAmerica Nazarene in a must-win game that will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Eagles Hopes Dwindling After Loss to Baker

February 21, 2014

Baldwin City, KS – The Avila University Eagles lost their sixth straight game on Thursday night when they fell to No. 13 Baker University, 81-35.

The loss put the Eagles (5-18, 3-12) 1.5 games behind Peru St. for the eighth and final spot in the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament standings with three games remaining. The Peru St. games were postponed last night due to weather, so they still have 4 games remaining.

Avila could not get on track offensively in the game, shooting just 24 percent, including just 16 percent (3-19) from three point range and 47 percent (8-17) from the free throw line.

Jessica Smith led the Eagles with 13 points in the game, while the team’s leading scorer Michaela Brinkley was held to just 8 points on 3 of 14 shooting.

Baker (21-5, 14-1) shot 44 percent in the game, and all but one player that saw action on the court recorded at least 1 point for the Wildcats.

Avila will look to get back in the win column when they host Graceland at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Mabee Fieldhouse.

Eagles Travel to No. 13 Baker Looking for Upset

February 20, 2014

Baldwin City, KS – The Avila Eagles have a tough task ahead of them tonight as they travel to Baldwin City, Kan. to take on the No. 13 Baker Wildcats in a critical conference matchup.

The Eagles, who are currently on a 5-game losing streak, sit one game out of eighth place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference with just four games remaining.  A win tonight against Baker could push the Eagles into a tie for the eighth spot, but a loss could easily put them two games out with three remaining.

Avila has had multiple close calls in their last two games, losing by a combined 5 points. The Eagles fell 50-48 on two last-second free throws at Missouri Valley, and then fell 75-72 over the weekend at home to then-No. 24 ranked Central Methodist.

Avila will need big games from both Jessica Smith and Michaela Brinkley if they want any chance of taking down Baker, who currently sits alone in first place in the HAAC with a 13-1 conference record.

They will also need a big game from their center, Rebekah Capeder, who is nearly averaging a double-double over her last four games.

The game is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. this evening in Baldwin City, Kan. on the campus of Baker University. You can follow the game live through the following links:

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Avila Unable to Pull of Upset, Fall to CMU, 75-72

February 15, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University Eagles were not able to pull off the upset bid against No. 24 Central Methodist on Saturday, falling 75-72.

Michaela Brinkley poured in 24 points for Avila, including six 3-pointers, and Rebekah Capeder scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the loss.

In a game that included 13 ties and 16 lead changes, Avila and Central Methodist exchanged big shot after big shot down the stretch.

Capeder tied the game at 69 with 1:47 with a free throw, but on the next Central Methodist possession, Morgan Vetter hit a 3-pointer to put her team back up by three, 72-69.

On the next Avila possession, Brinkley sank a deep 3-pointer to tie the game at 72 with just 42 seconds to play.  Central Methodist answered with a jumper in the lane to go up two, setting up a big inbounds play for Avila out of a timeout.

Avila got a layup opportunity out of the inbounds play, but were unable to capitalize, and Central Methodist got the rebound, and ultimately went on to win the game.

Avila will return to the court on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Baldwin City, Kan. to take on Baker University in an important HAAC matchup.

Avila Looks to Avenge Latest Loss with Win Over CMU

February 14, 2014

Kansas City, MO - The Avila women’s basketball team will host number 24 ranked Central Methodist (18-5, 9-4) at 2 p.m. at Mabee Fieldhouse tomorrow. The game will be played as part of the Play 4 Kay Initiative.

The initiative, which began in 2007, "is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond."

Click here for more information: Play 4 Kay Initiative

The Eagles will wear pink warm-ups and collection plates will be located at each entrance for donations.

Avila (5-16, 3-10) is coming off of a narrow 50-48 defeat to Missouri Valley. The Eagles led by one at halftime, as the game was close throughout. Lauren Austin tied the game at 48 with 15 seconds left after nailing a three-point field goal.  

An Avila foul put MVC at the line as Gabi Morales sank both free throws to seal the victory for the Vikings. 

In the first matchup, Central Methodist handled Avila with a 68-46 win. Michaela Brinkley scored 15 points and also leads the team with 18 points per game.  

Tomorrow’s matchup will feature two of the best three-point field goal shooters in Division I. Brinkley is ranked number two in Division I in three-point field goals made per game with 3.4, while Morgan Vetter of CMU leads the nation with 4.3 three-point field goals made per game.

Vetter also leads Division I in total three-point field goals made with 101 and averages 16.4 points per game.

Live video and stats will be provided and can be found by clicking on the following:

Live Stats

Live Video

Avila Looks to get back to Winning Ways Against MVC

February 12, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University women’s basketball team is currently on a three game losing streak, and find themselves on the outside of the top eight in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings for the first time this season.

With six games remaining on the schedule, there is still plenty of time for the Eagles to right the ship and get back into position to make the HAAC conference tournament.

The Eagles will look to get back on the winning side of things on Thursday night after a tough double-overtime loss over the weekend at Peru St.  The Eagles held a double-digit lead in the second half, but Bobcats used 23 Avila turnovers to pull of the comeback victory.

Michaela Brinkley scored 31 points in the loss, her third 30-plus game this season.  Jessica Smith and Rebekah Capeder each recorded double-doubles in the loss, respectively.

In order for the Eagles to get a win on Thursday night, they will need someone other than Brinkley, Smith and Capeder to contribute on the offensive end. Each of those three players average more than 10 points per game, but nobody else on the Avila team is averaging more than 5 points per game.

The game is set it tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night at Missouri Valley College.  You can follow the game live with the following links:

Live Stats

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Eagles Fall in Double-Overtime despite Brinkley’s Big Game

February 8, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University women’s basketball team could not hold on to a nine-point halftime lead and fell to Peru St. University 87-82 in double-overtime on Saturday afternoon.

Michaela Brinkley scored a game-high 31 points, and fellow Eagles Jessica Smith and Rebekah Capeder both recorded double-doubles in the loss.  Smith scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Capeder went for 18 and 10.

The Eagles shot 47 percent for the game, but shot just 15 of 24 from the free throw line for the game.  Avila also committed 23 turnovers in the game, and the Bobcats capitalized with 27 points off of the Eagles’ miscues.

The Bobcats (6-16, 4-8) shot 43 percent for the game, and had four players score in double digits in the win, led by Shelbie Hess, who scored 21 points.

The Eagles (5-15, 3-9) will return to the court Thursday night when they travel to Marshall, Mo., to take on the Missouri Valley College Vikings at 5:30 p.m.

Eagles Looking for Winning Trend Against Peru State

February 6, 2014

Kansas City, MO - The Avila women’s basketball team will look to end its two game losing streak when it travels to Peru, Neb., to take on Peru State this Saturday.  

The Eagles (3-8, 5-14) are coming off of a 76-47 loss to Benedictine last Saturday, while the Bobcats (3-8, 5-16) beat Evangel in overtime 93-87 last weekend.

Shelbie Hess leads Peru State with 16.6 points per game and scored a season high 30 points against Bethany (Kan.) on January 3. Brittany Peterson has been a force on the boards for the Bobcats leading the team with seven rebounds per game.

Michaela Brinkley leads the Eagles with 18.2 points per game, but had an uncharacteristic performance against Benedictine scoring just three points. It was only the second time this season Brinkley has failed to score in double figures. 

Rebekah Capeder leads the team in rebounds with 7.2 per game, and scored a season high 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting against the Ravens last Saturday. 

Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Live stats will be provided by clicking here.

Eagles Fall Despite Big Game From Capeder

February 1, 2014

Kansas City, MORebekah Capeder poured in 20 points and added six rebounds for the Avila Eagles, but it was not nearly enough as the Eagles (5-14, 3-8) fell to the Benedictine Ravens, 76-47.

Capeder was the only Eagle to score in double figures in the game, while the team’s leading scorer for the season, Michaela Brinkley, was held to just 3 points on 4 attempts. Jessica Smith added 8 points and 5 assists for the Eagles in the loss.

The Benedictine Ravens (16-7, 8-3) held the Eagles at arm’s length for most of the game, but Avila had multiple chances in the first half to take the lead away from the Ravens, getting as close as 26-25 with 4:04 remaining in the half.

Avila drew nearly 20 first half fouls on the visiting Ravens, but were only able to hit 7 of 16 foul shots in the first half, good for just 44 percent. The Ravens made 8 of 11 in the half, good for 73 percent.

Benedictine took complete control of the game with an 8-0 run to start the second half, and they never looked back.  The Ravens outscored the Eagles 38-19 in the half, forcing the Eagles to just 37 percent shooting in the game.

The Eagles will get a full week off before they travel to Peru, Neb. for a road matchup with the Peru St. Bobcats on February 8th. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip.


January 31, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO - After suffering a 64-51 loss to Evangel last night, the Avila women’s basketball team will host Benedictine tomorrow at Mabee Fieldhouse at 2 p.m.

The Eagles (5-13, 3-7) sit in eighth place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, while the Ravens (15-7, 7-3) are receiving votes in the national poll and are in third place in the conference.

Michaela Brinkley and Jessica Smith lead the Eagles this season. Brinkley is averaging 19.1 points per game, and Smith has 10.5 points per game. Brinkley has scored at least 30 points in three games this season and also ranks number two in Division I in three-point field goals made per game with 3.5. Smith has scored in double figures in five straight games after totaling 14 at Evangel.

The Ravens have three players averaging double figures this season led by Chayla Rutledge who has 14.7 points per game and also 4.5 rebounds per game. Justice Payne has also contributed to the Ravens averaging 14.5 points per game and ranks number nine in Division I in total three-point field goals made with 56. Jackie Ziesel is third on the team with 10 points per game.

The first time the two teams met was on December 7th when Benedictine came out on top with a 73-55 victory. A win for the Eagles and loss by Evangel would boost the team back into seventh place in the conference.

Eagles Fall to #4 Ranked Pioneers, 67-41

January 24, 2014

Kansas City, MO - The Avila Eagles (4-12, 2-6) fell to the #4 ranked MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers, 67-41, in a conference matchup on Tuesday night.

The Eagles stayed close with the Pioneers (16-1, 8-0) throughout most of the first half, but the speed and size of the MidAmerica players proved too much for Avila.

The lone bright spot for the Eagles came from sophomore point guard Jessica Smith, who led all scorers with 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting, including 4 of 5 from the free throw line.  Smith also recorded a career-high 6 steals in a game-high 39 minutes on the floor.

Other than Smith, the Eagles just could not get it going from the field, shooting just 37 percent from the floor, including a meager 19 percent from beyond the arc.

Most of Avila’s shooting woes can be attributed to the in-your-face style of defense that the Pioneers played throughout the game, which resulted in multiple forced shots for the Eagles, as well as 19 turnovers.

To the Eagles’ credit, Avila battled through the entire game on the defensive end, holding the Pioneers well below their season average of 78 points per game.  Avila’s defense, led by Smith, forced 18 Pioneer turnovers, including 11 steals, which was one shy of their season high of 12.

Avila will look to get back on the winning side of things on the road this weekend in a matchup with Culver-Stockton College. The game is set to tipoff at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday in Canton, MO.

Avila Falls to #21 Baker, 60-44

January 17th, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila Eagles lost to the #21 Baker University Wildcats, 60-44 last night in the Mabee Fieldhouse.

Avila (4-10, 2-4) stayed close in the first half, trailing just 28-23 at the break, but a big run by the Wildcats in the second half ended the Eagles hopes of an upset.

Baker (12-5, 5-1) opened the second half on a 17-4 run, taking a 5 point lead and extending it to 18 with 13:32 remaining in the game.  Baker built the lead to 57-34 with 7:31 remaining, but Avila never quit, finishing the game on a 10-3 run to cut the final margin to 16.

The bright spot of the game for the Eagles was Stephanie Miller, who came off the bench and scored 9 first half points to help cut Baker’s lead from 11 points to 5 points at the break.  Miller, a 6’1 senior, battled with Baker’s bigs, snatching 5 rebounds.

Miller was one of three Eagles to score in double figures, joining sophomore Jessica Smith and junior Michaela Brinkley, who score 10 and 12 respectively.

Avila played well defensively, allowing Baker to shoot just 36 percent on the night, but the Eagles shot only 32 percent.

Baker ultimately won the game on the glass, out-rebounding the Eagles 44-28.  Baker also pulled down 17 offensive rebounds, while Avila had just 7.

Next up on the schedule for Avila is a trip to Lamoni, Iowa to face off against Graceland University.  The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Eagles Outlast Vikings, Win Second Straight

January 10, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila Eagles (4-8, 2-2) used a strong team effort and a big second half to beat the Missouri Valley College Vikings (9-7, 1-3) last night, 90-83.

In a game that included 61 fouls and 91 free throws, the Eagles needed contributions from their entire team to earn their second straight victory, which vaulted them to 2-2 in Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) play.

All ten players that started the game recorded at least four fouls, and three of those players ultimately fouled out.  The Eagles and Vikings both had to go to their bench early and often, and the Eagles bench answered the call.

Avila got important minutes from all five of their bench players, led by senior center Stephanie Miller, who scored 11 points and nabbed 4 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.

The Eagles used a balanced scoring attack last night, having six players score in double figures, led by sophomore point guard Jessica Smith (left), who poured in 19 points.  She was followed by junior Michaela Brinkley’s 17. 

The four other Eagles to score in double figures were freshman Hannah Long (bottom, left), 16, junior Rebekah Capeder, 14, sophomore Kelsely McConnell, 10, and Miller, who had 11 off the bench.

Long’s 16 points included five 3-pointers, both career highs for the freshman guard.

Avila took a 37-36 lead into the second half and used runs of 9-0 and 12-3 to build an 18 point lead with 7:55 remaining.  The only points for the Vikings during that span came from the free throw line.

The Vikings were able to make the game interesting late because of TaLaya Earls, who scored 25 second half points, including 17 from the free throw line.  Earls finished with a season high 33 points in the game.

The game was relatively even throughout, with each team making 29 fouls shots and having two players foul out, but the Eagles won the game from the 3-point line.  Though the Eagles only made one more field goal than the Vikings, they hit 13 3-pointers compared to Missouri Valley’s 8, giving the advantage, and ultimately the game, to Avila.

With the victory, the Eagles now sit in a 4-way tie for third place in the HAAC with Graceland, Evangel, and Central Methodist.

Avila travels to Fayette, Mo. on Saturday to take on Central Methodist.  The matchup is set to tip-off at 2 p.m.

Cepeder Earns HAAC Player of the Week

January 8, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Rebekah Capeder earned her first HAAC Player of the Week honors for the week of January 6th by averaging a double-double in two games, and leading the Eagles to their first conference win of the season over Peru State.

A native of Trenton, Mo., the junior forward averaged 13.5 points and 13 rebounds per game for the Eagles while shooting nearly 50% from the field. 

Capeder scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 71-65 home loss to Friends University on Monday. She also recorded 2 assists in the loss.

Then, in the Thursday matchup with conference foe Peru State, she recorded 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, all season highs, to help lead the Eagles to a 69-65 victory.

Avila Defeats Peru St. in OT to Earn First Conference Victory

January 3, 2014

Kansas City, MO – After a string of tough losses to end 2013, the Avila Eagles (3-8, 1-2) got off to a hot start to begin 2014, defeating the Peru State Bobcats, 69-65 in overtime.

Avila got off to a quick start in the first half, opening the game on a 24-9 run, led by junior Rebekah Capeder, who had a game high 14 first half points.  She also added 4 rebounds and a block in the half.

During the run, the Eagles used suffocating defense and precise shooting, but after building a 15 point lead, Peru State (2-9, 1-2) slowly started to claw their way back into the game, pulling to within 9 at the break.

Avila had three players score in double figures, led by sophomore Jessica Smith’s 17. Capeder added 16, and junior Michaela Brinkley had 15.

Capeder, Brinkley and Smith also had big games on the boards, combining to pull down 27 rebounds.

The Bobcats used a balanced attack to get back into the game, having four players score in double figures, led by Jasmine Tate, who poured in 16.

Peru State came all the way back and took the lead with 8:11 to go in the game, getting a basket from Shelbie Hess to make the score 46-45 Bobcats.  Peru would go on to lead by as many as 4 late into the second half, but Avila did not go away.

With Avila trailing 52-48 with 3:46 remaining, Smith scored a basket and was fouled. She hit the free throw to pull Avila within 1. 

Then, with less than one minute remaining and Avila trailing 55-53, Brinkley hit the game-tying jumper that ultimately sent the game to overtime.

Avila took control in the overtime period, building a 65-57 lead with 1:51 remaining. The Bobcats pulled to within 2, but it was not enough as the Eagles ultimately held on for the 69-65 victory.

The Eagles improved to 1-2 in the HAAC, while the Bobcats dropped to 1-2.

Avila returns to action next Thursday, January 9th at home in a conference matchup with Missouri Valley College. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.



Eagles Host Crusaders to Open Conference Play

December 3rd, 2013

Kansas City, MO - Avila University (2-5) opens its conference season with the Evangel University Crusaders (3-3) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Mabee Fieldhouse.

Avila, led by the duo of junior Michaela Brinkley, 19.7 points per game, and junior Rebekah Capeder, 10.3 points per game, will look to open Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) play with a win over the Crusaders. 

Brinkley and Capeder do not only bring the ability to score in bunches, but also the ability to bring consistency each game. Brinkley has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, while Capeder has put up double figures in all but two. 

In order for the Eagles to win, they will have to be able to contain the Crusaders’ top scorer, Emily Akins, who is averaging a staggering 24.5 points per game this season.

Akins isn’t the only threat to the Eagles, though. The Crusaders have three other players that average nearly 10 points per game, including freshman Reggine Brown, who is averaging 14 points per game this season. 

The Eagles and Crusaders split the season series last year at one game apiece, with each team winning on the road.


Brinkley Named to Tara Patterson All Tournament Team

November 19, 2013

Winfield, KS – The Eagles picked up their first win of the season on the back of a 38 point performance by junior guard Michaela Brinkley. After falling to host Southwestern College (Kan.) 64-73, the Eagles bounced back claiming a 86-65 victory over Sterling College (3-1).

A Trimble, Missouri native, Brinkley opened the tournament with a 17 point performance against the Mound Builders going 6-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Brinkley also gathered six assists in the contest, a career high in her two years at Avila.

Brinkley continued her shooting streak from beyond the arc in the Eagles second game, hitting 8-of-13 from three. The 38 point performance was a career high, as was her 11 total rebounds. Brinkley also shot a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Brinkley’s 38 point performance is currently the most of any HAAC player since former Eagle Brittany Townsend had 40 points against Graceland University February 3, 2011.


Michaela Brinkley - Tara Patterson Classic Stats


11 - 19

8 - 13

8 - 8











6 - 11

4 - 7

1 - 2












For her performance over the two contests, Brinkley was named to the Tara Patterson All-Tournament Team.

  • Michaela Brinkley (Avila)
  • Lori Dauer (Sterling)
  • Kelli Warrior (Haskell Indian Nations)
  • Trinicia Shaffer (Southwestern)
  • MVP: Jessica Hobbs (Southwestern)

The Eagles will continue their season opening 10-game road trip when they head to Joplin, Missouri this Friday to take on NCAA II Missouri Southern in an exhibition contest. The Eagles will then play fellow NAIA member Central Christian College (3-3) Saturday at 1:00PM.

Eagles Women Hope for Return to Form Behind Large Group of Young Guards

October 24, 2013

Kansas City, MO - After a 2012-13 season that was anything but Eagles-like, the Avila University women’s basketball team will be looking to return to its form of two seasons ago with a squad that’s young and loaded with guards.

Last season, a lot of young players were pushed into considerable service quickly – perhaps too quickly – because of injuries and the result was a tie for eighth place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. A year after finishing runner-up in the HAAC and advancing to the NAIA Sweet 16, the Eagles failed to qualify for post-season.

However, the Eagles lost their conference games by an average of just 5.3 points, and Coach Larry Williams thinks this season’s Eagles are ready for a strong rebound.

“That comes down to three bad possessions a game, and if we can change those to positive possessions, who knows what can happen,” Williams said.

Though 10 of the team’s 15 players are guards, it’s a junior forward who will be looked upon as a team leader. Rebekah Capeder, a six-footer from Trenton, Mo., received honorable mention on the all-HAAC team each of the last two years and will really need to step up now that post player Cassie Bruner has graduated. Capeder averaged 11.1 points and 5.7 rebounds last season.

“Hopefully, Rebekah will step up and lead us in scoring and rebounding,” Williams said. “She’ll probably have to play 30 minutes a game.”

When Capeder needs a break, senior Stephanie Miller, sophomore Haley Padgett and freshman Taylor Shepeard will garner minutes in the middle for the Eagles. And, Arianne Henry, the HAAC Emil Liston Award winner last season, also adds depth in the frontcourt. However, Henry will only play first semester because of student-teaching responsibilities.

“We look for Arianne to help mentor the new players on and off the court for us this year, which will be a big help to the team,” Williams said.

The rest will be left to the guards, said Williams, who added the Eagles probably will play much of the time with a four-guard lineup. Leading the list of returning guards will be Michaela Brinkley, a junior from Trimble, Mo., who averaged 6.6 points last season.

“She’ll be our go-to guard,” Williams said. “We’re hoping she has a great year.”

Jessica Smith, a sophomore from Verona, Mo., received a lot of minutes last season and averaged 4.2 points. Sophomores Kelsey McConnell and Jordan Farmer should get plenty of playing time in the backcourt, as should freshmen Lauren Austin, Hannah Long, Rose Monachino and Sajel Spani.

Another positive for the Eagles? Unlike a year ago, eight of their first 11 games on the schedule aren’t against teams ranked in the top 25 in the U.S.

“I think we’ll be able to compete better,” Williams said. “The kids have all been working hard. They’re understanding change and doing things the way I like them done. I think our depth will be a lot better, so we can do more with our guards this season.

“I think we’ve got a chance to do much better this season.”

Eagles Picked to Finish Seventh In HAAC Preseason Coaches Poll

October 21, 2013

Kansas City, MO - The Avila Eagles Women's Basketball Program were picked to finished seventh in the 2013-14 HAAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll, released last Tuesday afternoon at the HAAC Basketball Media Day.

The Eagles will open up their season with a 10-game road trip that starts Nov. 1 when the Eagles travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on Grand View University. The home-opener will take place December 5 when the Eagles play their first HAAC contest of the year against Evangel University.


Rank School (First Place Votes) Points
1 MidAmerica Nazarene (9) 81
2 Benedictine 69
3 Central Methodist (1) 67
4 Baker 58
5 Evangel 44
6 Culver-Stockton 44
7 Avila 32
8 Missouri Valley 21
9 Peru State 20
10 Graceland 14


Avila University Eagles Athletics
11901 Wornall Road  |  Kansas City, MO 64145
p: 816.501.3634  |  f: 816.941.4503  |  athletics@avila.edu

©2012 Avila University Eagles Athletics