This archived article was written by: Brett Smart
The USU Eastern men’s basketball team entered conference play in December. As a team, they have faced hardship from cutting team members and shortening their bench. Their performance in conference play is a reflection of this.
Early losses against Snow College 67-90 and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) 63-89 were definitely a wake up call for the remaining players. Although their conference record is 1-6, it can be noted that the men have found a way to close the gap that other teams leave on the scoreboard.
Their game against Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) captures the potential that still remains with the Golden Eagles, grabbing a win with 81-67 as the final score. Solomon Rolls-Tyson had the leading score of 16, Alexander Morrel the most rebounds and Phillip Winston the most assists. “We had a whole week to prepare our guys mentally and physically for this game which worked out really well for us,” Assistant Coach Justin Brown said.
The week following CNCC, the Golden Eagles played SLCC for a second time in conference play. The atmosphere was electric the whole game through. The Eagles played conservatively with solid fundamentals, reserving their energy to capitalize on every advantage. Tevin Farris scored 22 points. Philip Winston and Brandon Sly led assists with a total of 8 each.
“As coaches we do our best to get the right rotation for our guys to get the most rest,” commented Brown. The score gap was consistently within 10 points with the lead changing 5-6 times, the kind of game that would have anyone on the edge of his or her seat.
At the end of the second half, the score was tied at 79, going into overtime. Despite best efforts from the Eagles, it was a loss with a final score of 93-89.
“There were errors in this game that could be prevented to turn the game to our favor and prevent it from even getting to overtime,” Brown stated.
Two days later, on Saturday, Jan. 16, the Golden Eagles faced off against their rival Snow for a second time.
Using a similar play style to not only close the gap from the previous game with the Badgers, but also bring down the overall score the Golden Eagles ended the first half 34-31 down by three points.
Snow came out for the second half and gained a further lead, ending the game 76-59. “It’s hard to get the proper rest for our guys, especially when they only have one day to recover. As a coaching staff, we’re doing the best we can to keep our guys in good shape for these situations,” Brown said.
Without a doubt, the Eagles are leaving it all on the court for the school. A good way to repay that is to support their effort. I invite everyone reading this article to come and support the USUE Golden Eagles Feb. 11 as they play the College of Southern Idaho. Let’s give our men the support they need.