Golden Eagles winning streak reaches 9, regular season near end with final road trip
The only thing standing in the way of the EU men claiming their second SWAC conference title in two years is Southern Idaho. The Eagles continue to post wins and take down their opposition to show that last season was no fluke. Two weekends ago EU downed Colorado Northwestern Community College 91-76. This weekend they came out on top in a hotly contested match up with Salt Lake Community College 80-77 and then followed that up with a 81-70 victory over Snow College.
This leaves the Eagles to face both College Southern Idaho and North Idaho College next weekend on the road. Their Thursday night game with CSI will most likely determine the SWAC championship as they are tied at the top of the standings. Worst case scenario is a second place finish with the Eagles win over SL this last weekend.
Over in Rangely, Colo., the Eagles started off slow and let the Spartans keep it close for the entire first half of action.
But in the second half, EU left nothing to chance and turned on the afterburners to leave CNCC in the dust and cruise to a 15 point victory.
Brady Hurst led the charge with 28 points and 10 rebounds. James Kinney added 16 with Bryant Crowder right behind with 15. Maxim Zakharov scored 13 and Johnathan Mills pulled down 13 rebounds.
All season the games between EU and SLCC have been close, intense and emotional. Friday night was no exception.
The Bruins jumped out first, but the Eagles clawed their way back to a tie by the end of the half. Both teams were hit with a technical foul as they left to go to the locker room over a non-call on a steal by the Eagles.
EU came out hot in the second period, but the Bruins kept pulling it back close. They came within a point, hitting one of two free throws. Then with 5.4 seconds left on the clock, Mills hit a pair from the charity stripe to give the Eagles a three point margin and ice up the game.
Mills had a monster double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Trevor Bamgartner put up 12, while Zakharov hit 16. Crowder and Cameron Evans each added 10.
EU had beaten Snow twice already this year and Saturday's game finished the sweep. But the Badgers made them work for it and held a two point lead going into the half. Again the second period effort was enough to take care of business as EU kept their nine game winning steak intact.
Zakharov had another great game with 17 points. Bamgartner had 13 and Hurst added 11. Crowder pulled in eight boards to go with his 12 points as the Eagles guarenteed themselves at least a second place finish.
EU will take on CSI Thursday night at 7 p.m. and then travel to play Northern Idaho on Saturday afternoon.