This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.
The 2013-14 basketball season officially ended for the Utah State University Eastern Golden Eagles basketball team on Feb. 28. The season was full of ups and downs for the Golden Eagles, reaching the 11th spot in the national basketball poll and a low point of a five-game losing streak.
Entering into the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament, the team held the fourth seed and played the fifth seed and host team Snow College.
The game started slow for the Golden Eagles and at halftime the team found themselves down to the Badgers, 37-34. During the second half, the team picked up the tempo and the group of Golden Eagle faithful responded, matching the Badger’s “Rowdy Crowd” in volume and intensity. At the end of the game the Golden Eagles found themselves ahead of the Badgers, 86-79.
Sophomore point guard Jaleni Neely led the team, scoring 20 points, handing out six assists and adding four rebounds. Three other Golden Eagle players found themselves with a double-digit scoring total with Kendahl Amerson and Travon Langston both scoring 15 and Alioune Tew scoring 14 points while adding 10 rebounds and two-blocked shots, achieving a double-double.
The following night the Golden Eagles played the first ranked team in the conference, the College of Southern Idaho in the semi-finals of the tournament. The game started physically with both teams being over the foul limit before the half was over. At halftime the Golden Eagles found themselves down to CSI by three, 41-38. The game continued to be a physical one in the second half as again both teams were over the foul limit and both teams were on the free throw line. The Golden Eagles attempted 43 free throws, making 28 of them while CSI attempted 37 making, 24. At the end of the game the Golden Eagles found themselves down, losing to CSI 87-77.
The Golden Eagles were led by Neely again, scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds and ended with two assists and steals. Trahmier Burrell and Amerson both had 15 points. Although the team lost and the season was over the team was able to hold their heads high losing to the second-ranked team in the nation at the time.
With the season over, it is time to focus on the achievements of the players from USU Eastern. Three players achieved season awards: Amerson was named to the First Team All-Conference while Teotino Do and Neely were both named to the Second Team All-Conference.
Several individuals finished within the Top 50 of the nation. Josh Van Weezep finished first in the nation in three-point percentage hitting 57.6 percent of his shots behind the arc. Neely finished 12th in the nation with an average of 30.8 minutes played per game and 17th in free throws made/attempted with 173 made and 212 attempted. Amerson finished 32nd in the 3-point made/attempts, he hit 81 of his 205 attempts. Do finished 44th in blocks, with 52 total blocks in the season.
In the end the Golden Eagles finished with a record of 7-8 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament with an overall record of 21-10.