This archived article was written by: Jordan Mellen
The Utah State University Eastern men’s basketball team played their last three regular season games within the past two weeks on the road. Now with the regular season over, the Golden Eagles are anxious to prove themselves going into the Scenic West Athletic Conference tournament, which is held in Price on their home court in the BDAC.
On Feb. 12, the USU Eastern men’s basketball team traveled to play North Idaho College, a team they had already lost to at home by three and on the road by seven. The game resulted in an 82-66 victory for North Idaho.
The leading scorers for the Eagles were Andre Hogan with 17 points, Royale Ewing 15 and Phillip Winston 11. Winston led the Eagles in assists with five, followed by Nathaniel Wright with three. Sherman Daye had 10 rebounds on the night and Karoui Hamdi five. As a team, the Golden Eagles went 26-62 in field-goal attempts, 8-26 in three-point attempts and 6-12 in free-throw attempts.
On Feb. 14, the Eagles played at the College of Southern Idaho. The Golden Eagles played a good game against the top-10-ranked CSI, but came up short at Southern Idaho, who came out with a last minute 83-79 victory.
Hamdi led the Golden Eagles in points with 15, followed by Juwan Moody 14 and Josh Van Weezep 11. Winston and Moody each finished with five rebounds, and Ewing had four. Marcelo Ruediguer had seven rebounds for the Golden Eagles and both Wright and Hamdi finished with six. The Eagles went 28-56 in field-goal attempts, 6-22 in three-point attempts and 17-24 in free-throw attempts.
On Feb. 21, the team traveled to Colorado Northwestern Community College to conclude their regular season. The game ended in a 69-65 victory for CNCC.
The leading scorers for USUE were Daye with 18 points, Karoui nine and Ruediguer seven. Daye and Winston each finished the night with three assists for the Eagles. The leading rebounders for the Golden Eagles were Daye with 12 and Winston seven. As a team, the Golden Eagles went 24-56 in field-goal attempts, 3-17 in three-point attempts,and 14-24 in free-throw attempts.
About the conference tournament, Coach Adjalma Becheli (Vando) says his team needs to play good basketball to succeed, considering that three teams in the conference are ranked in the nation’s top 25. “It’s not going to be easy. We need to improve in some areas. We need to play smart and work defense. We need the offense working and need to be patient and make good decisions.”
The Eagles played the majority of their games on the road and are excited to be on their home court, and are feeling confident regardless of the level of competition.
“Its always good to play at home in front of the fans and students. Its good to play on the court you practice on everyday. We get a new start and just need to take it one game at a time,” Vando says. The SWAC tournament will be ongoing February 26-28. The Golden Eagles play against NIC on Feb. 26, at 2 p.m.