CEU Men Win in OT But Lose to Wolverines
The College of Eastern Utah mens basketball team started the weekend out with a bang. The Eagles hit their home court at the BDAC Friday night with a vengeance, and followed up the home game on the road in Orem on Saturday.
The Eagles hosted the Salt Lake Community College Bruins Fri. night, who started the game in control.
The Eagles struggled to post many rebounds during the first half of play, which enabled the Bruins to chalk up 38 points compared to CEU's 27 points at the completion of the half.
During halftime, coach Bryan Zollinger and assistant coach Keith Berard fired up the Eagles team. Once CEU hit the court, the flame was burning strong for the Eagles.
The team started the second half by hitting several shots early in the half and closed in on the Bruins lead. The Bruins, however responded with several fast breaks and baskets of their own.
The Eagles began to rebound significantly more than in the first half, which allowed the team to post points to tie the game with under one minute left in regulation time.
The two Scenic West Athletic Conference teams battled for completed shots for almost the entire minute. The Bruins completed a three point field goal with only seven seconds left in the game. The completion was a sure victory for the Bruins. The Eagles disagreed.
CEU inbounded the ball at the Bruins end of the court. The ball moved quickly down the court and into the hands of Eagles guard Renaldo Knowles. The Bruins defense expected the move and defended Knowles closely.
Knowles, who could not get a shot off, spotted Skyler Wilson on the outside of the three point line and passed quickly to Wilson. Wilson then fired off the three point shot just as the buzzer sounded. The basket was good and was ruled that the ball had left Wilson's hand before the buzzer, thus evening the score 70-70, and sending the teams into overtime.
The Eagles were overjoyed with the comeback as they celebrated all the way to the bench. The BDAC crowd was on its feet and ready for the overtime match up.
Once the Eagles returned to the court from the huddle, it was business as usual.
The teams battled for boards and continued to compete intensely. Both teams were in foul trouble, therefore each foul sent the players to the free throw line.
The Bruins attempted to take control of overtime with three point shots. On two consecutive trips to the Bruins basket, the foul was called on Matt Thomas who was defending the Bruins three point shooter. Each foul sent the Bruins to the line where six easy points were picked up.
The Eagles did not waiver. Several steals, rebounds, and fast break plays littered the court as Knowles finished the plays off with quick baskets. The Eagles found themselves ahead of the Bruins 92-84 at the completion of overtime.
The victory sent the Eagles to the locker room ecstatic, along with the hometown crowd that came to support the team.
Knowles lead the Eagles with 20 points in the rally against the Bruins. Knowles fueled the Eagles fire with the completion four assists, three steals, four rebounds, and one three point shot.
Following in scoring was Thomas with 12 points, and Nick Whiting with 11 points.
The savior of the game, Wilson finished with only nine points, six of which came from the three point line, including the game saving point at the end of regulation time.
The Eagles win left the team confident and ready for more competition. The team then left for Orem Saturday to face the Utah Valley Wolverines.
Once the Eagles arrived in Orem, the team was ready to dominate, however the Wolverines held the Eagles to a 87-63 conference loss.
The Eagles trailed the Wolverines 33-39 at the half. The game was close, but Utah Valley shut out the Eagles in the second half of play. The Wolverines out scored the Eagles 48-30 in the second half of play.
During the game, CEU struggled from the field, shooting only 31 percent in field goals and 19 percent in three point shooting.
The Eagles were lead by Knowles with 11 points. Knowles also posted eight rebounds, completed 1-3 three point field goals, stole one ball, and made two assists.
Thomas followed in scoring with 10 points, shooting 3-5 from the long distance line against Utah Valley.
The Eagles also received help on the offensive side of the game with Patrick Stinnett who lead the team in assists with four, and Terrence Wiggins who lead in rebounds with 10, with four of which coming on the offensive boards.
Despite the loss in Orem, the Eagles are currently ranked with a 76 percent winning record, and are 13-4 thus far this season in all games played. The Eagles are ranked closely with top four teams in the SWAC, and hope to improve the winning record this upcoming weekend when they hit the road.
The Eagles will travel to St. George Friday to face Dixie College, then finish the road trip in Ephraim where the team will compete against Snow College.
The Eagles hope to restoke the fire that fueled the team to an overtime victory at home, while they compete on the road this upcoming weekend. Two victories will make for a smooth trip home after a long weekend.