Eagles head into SWAC Tournament

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After being victorious in the past weeks with two solid victories in front of their home fans, Utah State Eastern Eagles traveled to Snow College and College of Southern Idaho for their final two games before the SWAC tournament.

First the team traveled to Ephraim, Utah, on Feb. 23 to take on the school’s rival Snow College Badgers on their Fan Appreciation Night. The score would end the night in favor of the Badgers with the final score of 106-74.

The Eagles were led by sophomore forward Cam Bailey who ended the night with 19 points and six rebounds. Freshmen point guard Quinn Peters also had a solid night with 19 points and three steals, but would unfortunately leave Ephraim with an injury that will sideline the team’s starting-point guard for the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend.

Next, the team traveled to Twin Falls, Idaho, on Feb. 25, to take on the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles. At half the Utah State Eastern Eagles would lead with a score 38-32.

The team would eventually fall with a final score of 84-69. Sophomore Guard Koel Cutler led the team in scoring with 20 points while Kristupas Totoris made five-three pointers to bring his scoring total to 15 points. Bailey left the contest with a double double with 13 rebounds and 12 points, while sophomore wing Roman McKnight would be one point short of a double double, ending the contest with 13 rebounds and nine points.

With the regular season over, the team moves on to the SWAC tournament on March 2-4 on Salt Lake Community College’s home court.

The Eagles face Colorado Northwestern Community College in the first round on March 2 at 7 p.m.

Talking to Cutler about the tournament and the team’s chances are, he said, “I think our chances are really good, even though we only have seven players, I think we can beat Colorado Northwestern.

“Then if we play really well and leave it all on the floor, we have a chance to beat Snow. Then move onto the finals against Salt Lake or CSI, and we have already beaten Salt Lake twice once by 17.

“We’ve seen that anyone can beat anyone on any given night so preparation is key for the tournament,” Cutler said.

“I think we are as prepared as we’re going to be. In terms of background, we know our plays, we know the opposing team’s plays and personnel, everybody just has to make sure they prepare themselves mentally because that is what is going to make a difference.”

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