This archived article was written by: Jeremy Jones
Two weeks ago, the Eagles had a tough weekend when they traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to take on North Idaho College. Going into the games, the Eagles were in sixth place in the conference at 8-8 while NIC was just one game ahead of the Eagles at 9-7. With two wins, the Eagles could have put themselves back into the hunt for first place in the conference, but North Idaho needed the wins themselves to keep up with the competitive teams at the top of the conference.
During the first night, the Eagles lead most of the game, including taking a 44-37 led into halftime. However, North Idaho clamped down harder defensively in the second half and picked up their scoring. In the end, the Eagles fell 82-79.
Coach Bryan Zollinger pointed at his defense first when asked about the loss. “We played hard, but we weren’t as aggressive on defense as we needed to be, so we made a few mistakes. We also needed to review the scouting report better to know their players’ tendencies a little more.”
Tyrone Shephard and Casey Iverson led the way for the Eagles with 17 points each. Jeremy Atwater chipped in 12.
The second night, according to Coach Zollinger, was an almost exact opposite of the previous night. North Idaho came out strong and took an eleven-point lead into the half. Then it was the Eagles that fought back with a much higher offensive output, again lead by Shephard, who recorded the team’s first double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
But, again, the defensive intensity wasn’t what it needed to be and the Eagles lost, 79-73.
Despite losing numerous close games this season, Coach Zollinger is impressed with his team’s heart and determination. “It’s always frustrating to lose some close games, but our guys are still playing hard and are trying to bring quality basketball and entertainment to Price every game.”
After two tough losses, the Eagles came home to face Colorado Northwestern. It was apparent early on in Friday’s contest that the Eagles felt like they had something to prove.
They jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, finally annihilating the Spartans 99-55.
Even though the Spartans haven’t won a game yet in the conference, they showed a lot of pride during the game on Saturday night. The second game, it was the Spartans that jumped out to an early lead. The Eagles fought back and took a one-point lead into halftime.
After the half, the Eagles stretched out their lead some, but the Spartans wouldn’t quit. Key three-point baskets for the Spartans during the second half kept the game relatively close throughout the second half. But, the Eagles were able to come up with some big stops late in the game and connected on their free-throws, icing the game. The final score was 78-68.
Those two wins put the Eagles to 10-10 in the conference and still in sixth place. However, North Idaho lost to SLCC twice over the weekend, dropping the Cardinals to 11-9 and fifth place in the conference.
In other SWAC action, Dixie State split their games with Snow, putting Dixie in fourth place at 12-8. One win and one loss left Snow in a three-way tie for first place with CSI and SLCC, all at 11-7.
Next week, the Eagles travel to Twin Falls to take on CSI before their season finale at home against SLCC. The standings remain very tight, especially at the top of the conference, so stay tuned.