This archived article was written by: Talon Bryan
Suffering a combined 91-point loss over the Jan.17-19 weekend, the USU Eastern men’s basketball team desperately needed a win over Colorado Northwestern last weekend and finally squeezed a six-point victory over the SWAC cellar dwellers. Northern Idaho defeated the Eagles by 27 points, 71-44. CSI continued the blowout by scoring 103 points to EU’s 39, and winning by 64 points. The sole win came at home with a 78-72 victory over CNCC.
Fourteenth-ranked North Idaho showed why they are nationally noticed by dominating the Eagles. The men kept the game within reach in the first half only trailing by seven, 22-29. Only shooting 33 percent from the field, the Eagles struggled to keep pace the rest of the game. With only 14 minutes left in the second half the men had the game in reach only losing 32-34. Pulling away during the end of the second half, NI’s Jalil Abdul-Basset scored a season high of 22 points, finishing the Eagles. EU’s Jason Timpf managed to score 16 points and grab 10 rebounds to try and stay in the game, while Mike Stroud added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Coach Roe said, “NI exploded in the second half and made a lot of buckets. They were all over Gatewood which pretty much shut down our scoring with Vitor Machado out of the game.”
CSI definitely avenged their Dec.13 15-point loss by annihilating the Eagles by 64 points. CSI had six players break double digits and 40 points from the bench. The Twin Falls Times News stated, “CSI dominated every phase of the game, showing off its depth and versatility throughout. It started with ball pressure, as it always seems to with [Coach Steve] Gosar’s team, as guards Sebastian Michineau, Kareem Storey and Montigo Alford “heated up the ball” as they like to say. The trio forced Utah State-Eastern out of its offense and into mistakes — including 25 turnovers.”
Both teams took 56 shots from the field with CSI shooting 57 percent from the field while the men only shot 25 percent. CSI’s Juwan Newman went 12 for 12 from the free throw line and managed to score six more points leading CSI with 18 points. Miles Gatewood led scoring for the Eagles with 14 points.
Coach Carter Roe stated, “The CSI game was an eye opener, and really showed us what happens when you are not prepared. In this case when in rains it pours, and as coaches we take blame for this by not having our guy’s prepared.”
After a tough couple of games, bottom-ranked Colorado Northwestern traveled to Price to take on the Eagles on Jan. 26. The men shot the ball exceptionally well hitting 51 percent of their shots from the field. EU’s Gatewood pushed the pace scoring 22 points and handing out three assists. The Spartans couldn’t keep up with the final score being 78-72 in favor of the Eagles. Timpf chalked up another double-double on the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Roe added, “We shot the ball exceptionally well with Gatewood going 4-6 on three pointer in the first half. Foul shooting is still one of our weaker points we are working on that. I feel like after the Snow game our foul shooting has kept declining, which like I said before we are working to improve.”
The Eagles need to work on overall shooting percentage to be able to win some of the upcoming games. Shooting 44 percent from the free throw line over the weekend doesn’t help either. With Dytanya “Bubby” Johnson tied for fifth in the SWAC for rebounds that is a strong point for the Eagles. The Eagles are on the road the next two weekends to take on Snow College on Jan. 31, and 11th ranked SLCC on Feb. 2. Then face a rematch against NI and CSI the following weekend. Their final home games on Feb. 21 and 23 against Snow and SLCC.