Utah State University Eastern’s Men’s Basketball has had a quick and exhilarating start to the 2023-2024 season, participating in the Western Wyoming Tournament and the Salt Lake Community College Invite. In the Western Wyoming Tournament, USU Eastern faced Central Wyoming College for their first game of the season and then played against Western Wyoming Community College for their second game. The Eagles also competed against Northeastern Junior College and Eastern Wyoming College for their third and fourth games of the season.
For their initial matchup of the regular season, Utah State found themselves playing against Central Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The Eagles led 42-35 going into the second half, but unfortunately, they would only score 28 points in the second half. Central Wyoming came back strong, scoring 40 points and ultimately winning the game with a final score of 70-75. Martel Williams was the leading scorer, with 27 points at a 62.5% efficiency, along with grabbing eight rebounds. Trace Ross also contributed with 11 points and three assists.
In their second game of the Western Wyoming Tournament, Utah State University Eastern faced Western Wyoming Community College. This game was a stark contrast to their previous one, as the Eagles dominated with a final score of 91-51 in Utah State’s favor. Martel Williams nearly achieved a triple-double, accumulating 21 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and three steals in just 26 minutes. Jack Jamele scored 18 points, and Ross chipped in another 16 points.
The Eagles had to wait close to another week before their next game in Taylorsville, Utah, for the Salt Lake Community College Invite. They faced Northeastern Junior College, aiming to start a winning streak. The first half favored NJC, scoring 43 points compared to USUE’s 39 points. However, Utah State turned the tide in the second half, erupting for 47 points and securing victory with a final score of 86-77. Martell Williams again led in scoring with 29 points, 19 of which were in the second half. Dyson Lighthall had a shooting efficiency of 61.5% and contributed 18 points.
In their final game in the SLCC Invite, Utah State faced Eastern Wyoming College. Both teams started strong, keeping the game close in the first half, going into halftime 42-20 in Utah State’s favor. Eastern Wyoming struggled in the second half, allowing USU Eastern to extend their lead significantly. The Eagles secured victory with a final score of 84-67, extending their winning streak to three. Lighthall picked up 23 points for Utah State with an incredible 91.6% shooting efficiency. Williams followed with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals.
Utah State University Eastern will compete in the Snow Tournament held by Snow College on Nov. 24 and 25, facing Green River College and Treasure Valley Community College. On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, the Eagles will play against Arizona Western College and Eastern Arizona College in the same tournament. We hope that the Men’s Basketball team can continue to extend their winning streak throughout this next tournament.