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Tumultuous season comes to an end for USU Eastern men

Sophomore Neveij Walters wins the tip at the start of overtime during USU Eastern's 80-79 overtime loss to North Idaho College on Saturday.

Sun Advocate sports reporter

At the beginning of the season, no one on the USU Eastern mens basketball team could have envisioned what was to come over the next few months.

In what may have been one of the most trying seasons in USU Eastern history, the mens team finished their season with two more defeats in tough fashion, including a 70-69 loss to College of Southern Idaho on Friday night and a 80-79 overtime loss to North Idaho College on Saturday afternoon.

Eastern (16-13 overall, 4-11 SWAC) had opportunities to win both games in the final moments but the shots didn't fall at the right time for the Golden Eagles.

Against CSI, Eastern was down by 10 points in the second half before they mounted a comeback that fell short in the end.

The following day against NIC, Eastern battled with the Cardinals into another game that needed overtime to decide a winner. In three games against NIC this season, Eastern has played in a total of five overtimes with their league opponent.

Eastern's Demetrus Richardson missed a shot at the buzzer in regulation and Neveij Walters missed a critical free throw that would have tied the game and possibly sent it into a second overtime.

After a CSI missed free-throw, freshman Chase Flint threw a desperation 3-point shot that missed as the buzzer went off.

While the losses stung, Eastern players said they are proud they hung in every game and never gave up.

"We just competed in every game this season," said freshman Travon Langston. "But we had to fight through adversity all season long."

Head coach Brian Edelstein said the team suffered a number of close losses over the season, with nine losses coming in the final moments of a game.

"It seemed like we didn't get any of those lucky bounces all season long," Edelstein said.

But despite the missed tough season, Edelstein said he is proud of the effort and fight the team showed in the face of adversity during a tough season.

"They could have quit at any time this season, but they never did," he said. "I'm tremendously proud of what they were able to accomplish this season.

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