Buzzer beater ends upset bid in tough weekend for USU Eastern men
Golden Eagles look to final home game against CNCC for much needed momentum
With just over two minutes left to go, things were beginning to look up for the USU Eastern mens basketball team.
After losing five of their last six games, the Golden Eagles had the number two ranked College of Southern Idaho team on the ropes and were looking to gather a bit of the momentum they had at the beginning of the season.
But things don't always end in the way they seemed headed for.
CSI went on a 10-2 run over the final two minutes and Montigo Alford's jumper at the buzzer handed the Golden Eagles a devastating 77-75 conference loss on Thursday evening at the BDAC.
"It was a tough loss for us," USU Eastern head coach Adjalma Becheli said on Monday morning. "We need to learn how to finish games and because we didn't do that, we paid the price for that."
Jaleni Neely led USU Eastern with 21 points and Nafis Walker added 18 points for the Golden Eagles in the loss to CSI.
The Golden Eagles had little time to sit with the loss with a game against North Idaho College on Saturday night. NIC took an early lead and never trailed the rest of the way handing USU Eastern a 78-65 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Trahmier Burrell led USU Eastern with 13 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Kendahl Amerson had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the game.
With the sweep, USU (18-8 overall) is now tied with North Idaho College in third place at 5-7 in the conference. NIC owns the tiebreaker between the two schools going 2-1 against the Golden Eagles this season.
USU Eastern will look to close out their home schedule this season with a win when they host Colorado Northwestern CC on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. at the BDAC.
Becheli said the team has plenty of motivation to finish out the season with a win at home against CNCC and then two games on the road traveling to Salt Lake Community College and Snow College.
"We want to fight with NIC to get that third seed in the conference tournament," said Becheli.
While the losses hurt, Becheli said the team should be focused on the final three games instead of looking back at previous games.
"The losses to CSI and NIC hurt, but life goes on," Becheli said. "We have to step up for the rest of the season."