Eastern Utah men move conference record to 2-2 as play continues
Just like the previous weekend, the CEU Eagles lost one and won one. Things started off on Jan. 16th against 14th ranked SLCC. In the end it was SLCC-72, CEU-67. Then heading south, the Eagles bounced back against Snow. It was the slimmest of margins, but a win is a win. Final score, CEU-64, Snow-63 in the Saturday night shoot out.
In the Friday night match-up, CEU's only lead in the game came early at 3-2. SLCC then went on a 13-2 run. At the 6:42 mark the SLCC lead was 17 points.
The Eagles continued to chip and closed the gap by 12 points at halftime. Then out of the locker room CEU scored the first seven points of the second half and go on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to five points. SLCC took a well timed time out. It was all SLCC after the time out as they quickly extended the lead back to 10 points.
But the Eagles did not lie down and fold. After a Chandler Pearson trey at the 6:04 mark, the SLCC lead was only a point. With just 41 seconds left, a Darington Hobson jumper cut the SLCC lead again to just one point. CEU missed a three point attempt to win the game and then is called on a very questionable intentional foul. The Bruins make one of two free throws and get the ball back, another foul and hit both free throws to finish the game with a five point win.Free throws were a big factor in the game. SLCC shot 40 free throw attempts to CEU's 21 attempts.
Pearson led the team with 16 points on 4 for 9 shooting, and 4 of 8 from the three point line and 4 for 6 shooting free throws. Hobson scored 12 and Phillip (Tree) Thomas chipped in 11 points. CEU outscored SLCC by seven points in the second half but the large lead in the first half proved too much.
The following night Snow jumped out to 7-0 lead, which forced CEU into an early time out. The Eagles started the game with four straight turnovers. Isaiah Williams finally hit a jumper for CEU's first points ending the Badger run. CEU quickly tied the score at seven.
Pearson hit a three ball to give CEU its first lead. The seesaw scoring continued through the half and at the break, Snow had a three point lead.The second half continued the close battle, with Snow keeping a small edge. Then at the second media time out the score was tied at 55 and CEU's inside game started coming up strong.
With more back and forth play the score was tied at 1:59. Pearson hit a big three to give CEU a three point lead and Snow called time out with 52 seconds left. CEU was nursing a one point lead when Nick Thompson got a breakaway and a big slam dunk giving CEU a three point lead.
With 16 seconds left, Snow scored a tough jumper leaving them down one and called time out. CEU tried a baseball pass from the end line for another breakaway layup but Snow got the ball back on the rebound. Another Badger time out set up a last shot with 6 seconds remaining. Snow got a charging foul when their player ran over a Golden Eagle defensive player and the official made the call, much to the dislike of the Snow fans. The Eagles held on to get the one point win.
The Eagles shot 39% from the field and 67% from the free throw line. Franklin led the team with 15 points. Pearson scored 12, including a clutch three to give the Eagles a late lead. Nick Thompson also scored 11.
Next weekend the men take on CNCC in Rangely, Colo. before returning home the following weekend for a pair with the same squad.
The NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Poll top 25 rankings as of January 13th CEU moved up to 17th. North Idaho College (NIC) with the second longest winning streak in the country (17-0) is ranked 12th. Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), seventh longest winning streak in the country with 13 straight wins hit 14. College Southern Idaho (CSI) dropped down from 12th to 24th.
CEU's Mike Scott is in the top 20 in Division I NJCAA free throw percentage at 19 with a 86.050 percentage.