Basketball season continues for the Eagles, playing College of Southern Idaho and College of Southern Nevada this past week, they hoped to extend their win streak to four after last week’s victories. Instead, the Eagles split their previous two games, and now the Eagles record stands at 12-7 after two intense, hard-fought games.
The team started on its home court in Price to take on powerhouse CSI. The Eagles from Idaho came into the game ranked seventh in the country and first in Region 18 standings.
The game was a tale of two different halves. The first half started off great for CSI, hitting three after the three, getting ahead as many as 24 points. The USUE Eagles’ offense struggled to get open looks and its offense was stagnate the entire first half. CSI ended the half up 44-24.
The second half was a different ball game altogether. Eastern came storming back and made it a game, cutting the lead to two with two minutes left.
Despite shooting 35% in the first half, Eastern was able to rebound in the second half, shooting a fantastic 61% from the field.
However, the first half deficit proved to be too much as the Eagles would fall 74-72. According to the Utah State Eastern basketball website, Coach Bill Evans spoke of his team’s effort. “You have to give my guys a lot of credit,” he said about the loss. “I’m really proud of them. I’m going home understanding that our guys gave a great effort and never gave up.” Despite losing, Evans felt optimistic about his team going forward.
After the tough loss to CSI, Eastern went on the road to play against conference foe College of Southern Nevada. This game, unlike the one against CSI, was a back-and-forth offensive shootout. The Coyotes started the game up 13-4, but after four threes in the first half from guard Jesse White, the Eagles went into halftime up 38-37.
The second half was similar to the first half. The Eagles would lead by as many as 10 points after a great drive-and-one by Dontrell Hewlett to put them up 10. The Southern Nevada deficit didn’t last long as the Coyotes went on a quick 7-0 run to cut the lead to three. Southern Nevada would hit two clutch free throws with 43 seconds left in the game to tie it up at 78 apiece.
Both offenses stalled, forcing the game into overtime. In OT, the Eagles’ defense was too much for the Coyotes to handle, out scoring them 14-5 in overtime with the Eagles going on to win 92-83.
The Eagle’s offense was impressive: Jessie White finished the game with 25 points and five threes in the Eagles’ overtime win.
White wasn’t the only player who had a good game; Dontrell Hewlett added another 20 points to his impressive season. Forward Peter Filipovity also played well, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. His performance earned him a double-double for the second straight game and more importantly, contributing to the victory.
The Eagles’ season is down to the wire as they play tough teams ahead. The Eagles took on #13 Salt Lake Community March 25 (score not available at press time). Then the Eagles look to get revenge when they play in Price against long-time rival Snow College on Saturday, March 27 at 3 p.m. and CSN on Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. The Region 18 Tournament is in Richfield from April 8-10.