Fighting to keep the season alive
Starting off the new week with a win over Colorado Northwestern the week looked bright for the Eagles, only to be shut down with losses at the hands of Snow and Salt Lake. The regular season has come to a close for the USU Eastern men’s basketball team. Post season playoffs start this weekend, meaning anything can happen. With all teams receiving an automatic bid into the regional tournament, there is still hope for even the poorest of teams. The Eagles capped off the season with an away game victory against CNCC, ending the season with two at home losses.
Playing CNCC has been a given win all season. Failing to win a region game, the Spartans went 0-15 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. The men claimed another easy victory over the Spartans with Jason Timpf scoring 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Dytanya Johnson broke double digits also scoring 13 points and grabbing seven boards making the final score 64-57. Colorado Northwestern’s Thomas Powers scored 14 and dished out 4 assists.
Fan appreciation night drew in quite the crowd for the Eagles. Facing down Snow College for their third meeting of the season. Snow pushed the pace all game and shut down the Eagles quickly. Nick Gruninger of Snow College set the pace of the game scoring 13 points and assisting nine baskets. Things got heated early between the teams, causing USU Eastern to lose mental focus and allowing Snow to score quickly and easily, ending the game at 81-58 for the Badgers. Timpf scored 14, while Johnson produced another 10 despite playing low minutes.
The final home game of the season was against sixth ranked in the national polls Salt Lake Community College. The Bruins have stayed ahead all season, finishing first in region 18. USU Eastern’s Timpf led scoring shooting 9-13 from the field and 4-7 beyond the arc, leaving him with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Todd Helgensen also managed a double-double scoring 10 points and snatching 10 rebounds. Despite the team’s efforts, SLCC still managed to outscore the Eagles 74-68. Sal Tummala scored 17 for the Bruins and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Eagles ended the regular season with a 14-16 record, with a 4-11 record in conference play. The men start the region tournament seeded fifth and will play the fourth seed CSI on Mar 1 at 7:30 p.m. at North Idaho College. Fans can check out iHigh.com for live coverage of the games this weekend.
Praying for some upsets is about all the men can do at this point. The region tournament means do, or die, lose and go home or win and live to play another day. Top seeded SLCC and second seeded NIC both earned byes the first day leaving CNCC to play Snow. SLCC is a heavy favorite to win, but with North Idaho’s talent that could change very fast.