|Belford Williams defends against his opponent at a home game against Snow College Feb. 18. The CEU men finished regular season play ranked fifth in the conference|
College of Eastern Utah's men's basketball faced Salt Lake Community College in their last regular season games Friday and Saturday, losing 81-115 Friday and 77-83 Saturday.
After foul trouble two weeks ago against Snow College, the Eagles adjusted their play, fouling just 18 times on Friday. SLCC took 22 personal fouls and a technical. That meant that both teams shot 27 from the line, where CEU outscored the Bruins 24-19.
However, that shooting average didn't extend to the field, where CEU shot just 40 percent, making 26 of 65 total field goals attempted, and just five of 23 attempted three-pointers.
SLCC held onto 41 rebounds and made six steals, compared to CEU's 27 rebounds and one steal. Add in CEU's 15 turnovers, compared to SLCC's eight, and the Bruins had 74 attempted field goals, of which they made 55 percent. Additionally, Salt Lake made 14 of 25 shots from behind the three.
High scorers for the Eagles included John Rogers, with 16 points and five rebounds; Chris Lang and Eldridge Henderson, each with 15 points and two rebounds; and Colby Vranes with 14 points and two rebounds.
Marc Pratt led the Bruins with 26 points and five rebounds. Rekalin Sims scored 19 points and had six rebounds and three assists. And Bret Rubin had 19 points and four assists.
On Saturday, the game was much closer, and CEU's six-points loss could be attributed to any number of factors. In almost every aspect of the game, SLCC pulled a slight edge on the Eagles.
Both teams had 13 turnovers. The Bruins had 20 personal fouls; the Eagles had six; SLCC had five steals; CEU had four. Salt Lake had three blocks; Eastern Utah had one.
Although CEU had two fewer field goals than the Bruins, they made eight of those into three-pointers, while SLCC made five three-point shots.
Again, the game came down to free throws. The Eagles shot 65 percent from the line, making 13 of 20. Even though the Bruins shot just 60 percent from the line, they also had 10 more free-throw attempts. By making 18 of their free throws, the Bruins took the win away from the Eagles.
CEU's Lang had 17 points and made five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Rogers made 15 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one block. And Tyler Billings had 13 points, six rebounds and one steal.
Salt Lake's Sims scored 20 points and had 17 rebounds, his 12th double-double for the season. Ahmet Tidiane made 14 points, eight rebounds and one block. And Tika Wesley had 11 points, four rebounds and one assist.
With a 7-11 season record, CEU dropped to fifth in the conference, edged out by Dixie State's 8-10 record. CEU played Dixie yesterday afternoon in Twin Falls, Idaho, with scores unavailable at press time. The winner faces first-ranked College of Southern Idaho tomorrow evening, with the conference final Saturday night.