Golden Eagles fall in SWAC semis to Southern Idaho
USU Eastern's season ends with 86-77 loss to rival College of Southern Idaho in Ephraim
With their season on the line in the Scenic West Athletic Conference semifinals, the USU Eastern Golden Eagles were facing a familiar opponent in the College of Southern Idaho.
It was the fourth matchup of the two teams this season and for the third time in a row CSI came away with an 86-77 win in Ephraim on Friday evening.
As the fourth seed in the tournament, USU Eastern defeated Snow College 86-79 in the first game to advance to play number one seed CSI.
USU Eastern Head Coach Adjalma Becheli said against CSI that the team struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 28-of-43 overall, including a 5-of-14 mark in the second half.
"Those were crucial points and they killed us in the end," said Becheli. "We played as a team and did what we were supposed to do but we just shot too poorly from the line down the stretch."
With it being the fourth game between the two schools, Becheli said CSI looked to speed up the game while USU Eastern wanted to find good open shots and play good team ball.
Despite the end to the season, sophomore guard Jaleni Neely was named to the All-SWAC Tournament team.
USU Eastern finished the season 21-10 overall.
"It was a good season for us," Becheli said. "The guys always played hard each game. I'm very proud of how they came together as a team over the course of the season."