This archived article was written by: Riley Spears
After a excruciating loss at The College of Southern Idaho two weeks ago, College of Eastern Utah’s basketball teams had to travel back to Idaho in hopes of regaining momentum and pride. They needed to get back into the conference race against NIC and make their games against rival Snow that much more important.
NIC would have been a huge win for CEU, with NIC holding onto the number-15 spot in the latest NJCAA national polls, and CEU just outside the polls for the first time in two months.
CEU knew it would not be an easy game against NIC, especially with the game being in Idaho. It was another tough game for CEU, like all the other games in the conference, and CEU handled it well. The game came down to the final seconds again, but CEU just could not pull it out in the end, due to another controversial call. CEU ended up losing, 69-67.
Assistant coach Anthony Owens said, “I think the guys were just worn out from the last weekend games.”
Leading scorers for CEU were Aaron England with 15 points and five threes; Stephan Franklin was right behind him with 14 points, six rebounds. Cliff Coliman had himself a good game with 12 points and three threes. Thomas Phillip also got into double figures with 11 points and led the team with nine rebounds, just missing a double double. Mike Scott played a well-rounded game with six assists, four points and eight rebounds.
The next game was another close one for CEU that came down to the final seconds, showing that CEU can play with any team not only in the conference, but in the nation. CEU ended up losing again by two points 74-72.
Leading the effort for EU was Phillip with 16 points and nine rebounds. Franklin had a good game with 15 points, eight rebounds. Hobson got into double figures with 11 points, 10 rebounds, completing the double double. Three-point shooting hurt the Eagles who hit four on 14 attempts.
After a tough road series for the Eagles left them limping into the game against Snow, CEU needed a pick up and win at home. CEU came out firing from behind the arc, throwing up 11 three pointers in the first half converting on six. Helping with the down pour of threes was England who ended the half with 23 points, Chandler Pearson also helped contribute to the lead before halftime with two threes and six points. CEU went into the half with a comfortable 45-33 lead.
Owens said, “Aaron is playing very well right now, he is playing his better ball now at the end of the season.”
Coming out of the gates in the second half, Snow started to put together a run and the game seemed closer than it really was. CEU was just on cruise control the whole second half, and it showed at the end of the game when it was a lot closer than it should have been. The end turned into a game from the line and CEU dominated converting on 28 free throws led by Philip and Scott who each had six, helping CEU to the 90-78 win.
Leading for the scorers was England who ended with 28 points and eight threes, along with a team leading seven rebounds. Phillip was the only other player for CEU in double figures with 14 points. Everyone from CEU got into the scoring fest with everyone scoring in the game. Scott led the team with five assists.
The next day CEU started where they left off hitting seven more threes in the first half and shooting 50 percent from the field. CEU shot well from the line shooting 93 percent, helping to a commanding 31-45 lead.
The second half went much like the first, Hobson came back after a low scoring game for the high scorer for the team, but made up for it with 23 points on 6-9 from the field and six-six from the line, Hobson missed a double double with nine rebounds. Also having a good game was Stephen Franklin with 19 points with seven boards. England continued his amazing play with 17 points including five more from three-point land. Pearson rounded out the double diget scoring with 10 points including seven from the line. Scott continued his great point guard play with nine assists, to complement his five points and his perfect three for three from the line. CEU’s shooting from behind the arc again helped them to an easy 83-68 win, and gave them some necessary confidence heading into the game against top team in the conference Salt Lake Community College.
Coach Owens said,” That was the best weekend of games we have played all year, the guys really seemed to be on the top of there game and was ready to play.”
CEU hosts SLCC Bruins on the Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 5 p.m., closing the conference season. The Eagles lost a close one to the Bruins earlier this season and await the rematch. The games this weekend will decide where the conference tournament will be held next weekend.