The College of Eastern Utah men's basketball team set their home court on fire this past weekend as the team walked away victorious from two back to back games.
The first game found the Eagles facing off against the College of Southern Idaho, a top ranked Scenic West Athletic Conference team who before Friday, had not lost a conference game, and only had two total losses thus far in the season.
The Eagles were not intimidated by the ninth ranked national junior college team who are lead by former CEU coach Guy Beach. In fact, the Eagles raised to the occasion and soared high defeating CSI 94-89.
The Eagles dominated the game, with CSI coming close, but never gaining control of the ball game. Although CSI is ranked first in scoring offense with an average of 98.7 points per game, the Eagles out scored CSI and shot 51 percent compared to Southern Idaho's 39 percent from the field.
CSI also is the home of leading SWAC scorer Ricky Clemons who averages 23 points per game. The Eagles however, shut Clemons down and held him to only 12 points in Fridays showdown. The defensive efforts, combined with the strong will of the offense made CEU unbeatable against CSI.
Leading the Eagles in scoring was Patrick Stinnett and Skyler Wilson who each had 14 points, while Mindaugas Katelynas, Antoine Reynolds, and Terrence Wiggins followed, each with 13 points.
Katelynas and Wiggins also had two blocked shots a piece, and each had five rebounds, while Katelynas also completed 2-3 three point shots.
Reynolds lead the Eagles in rebounds with seven, while Renaldo Knowles lead in steals with two. Knowles also finished with three assists, nine points, and two rebounds.
The victory against CSI was a complete team effort with all Eagle players contributing greatly, leading to the win. The victory also boosted the confidence of the team and left the Eagles hungry for a second victory which would come the following evening against Treasure Valley Community College.
The Eagles hit the court looking determined and ready for competition Saturday against the Chuckers of Treasure Valley.
The Eagles determination paid off as the team scored a second victory over the weekend by the score of 90-76. The win boosted the Eagles to 5-4 in conference games, and 15-6 in all games played.
The first half found Skyler Wilson on top of his game with 15 points by halftime, all of which came from three point field goals. The second half began much like the first, with Wilson scoring most of the Eagles points. Wilson finished the game with 27 points, four assists, six rebounds, 5-9 completions from the long distance line, and shooting 4-4 from the free throw line.
Wiggins followed in scoring with 14 points, while leading the team in rebounds with nine. Wiggins also stole and blocked one ball against the Chuckers.
Nick Whiting offered support to the Eagles victory with 11 points, four rebounds, one assist, two blocked shots, and one steal. Knowles also scored 11 points and posted five rebounds in the victory against Treasure Valley.
Once again, the Eagles received contributions from the entire team. The team effort has proved that the Eagles are a strong ball club and that they are ready to face any and all opponents that may step their way as the season continues. As the season does progress, it seems as if the team gains more skills and continue to build on those they already poses. The desire to win will carry the team far in the SWAC this season.
According to assistant coach Keith Berrard, "this weekend was big for us. The wins will definitely boost the moral of the players along with our record."
The victory over CSI left Eagles fans and supporters confident that the team will make its mark in the SWAC this year. The victory proves what all the fans have already known, that the Eagles will not back down from any competitor.
The Eagles will once again host back to back games this weekend, starting with North Idaho on Friday, and finishing the weekend against Ricks College on Saturday. The Eagles are on fire, and intend to keep the flames burning bright against the two SWAC teams Friday and Saturday.