Averaging 82.6 points per game and shooting just under 45 percent from the field, one would think that the Golden Eagles would have come away with with more than one win in the past two weekends. These kinds of numbers go to show that the Scenic West Athletic Conference is one of, or even the best conference in the country.
The past two weeks have seen the Golden Eagles win one of two against North Idaho College and lose two to fifth-ranked college in the nation, the College of Southern Idaho this past weekend in the BDAC. The Golden Eagles have come up a little short despite playing well in every game.
During the weekend of January 21-22, the Cardinals from North Idaho came to the BDAC to improve their record which had suffered since the beginning of Scenic West Conference play. On Friday, the Golden Eagles came out strong and never squandered their lead since taking it in the opening minutes. CEU went on to win the game by the score of 83-72. Jamaal Smith led the Eagles with 21 points. He added five assists, four rebounds and shot 9-9 from the free-throw line. Tyler Billings added 12 and Colby Vranes put in nine.
The following night, the Golden Eagles looked to take the intensity from the night before into the game but fell early and lost a nail biter 72-79. Once again Smith led the game with 22 points on 10-10 from the free-throw line. CEU cut the lead to three points late in the game 70-73, but it wasn't enough and they split the two games with NIC in half.
This past weekend, the fifth-ranked team in the country, College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, came into town looking to rebound after their first loss of the season the previous weekend to the Dixie State Rebels. The first night, both teams came out strong and traded buckets early. CEU held a slight lead but by half CSI was up 37-44. The second half was equally competitive with CEU seeing another slight lead, but much to the chagrin of the fans and all in attendance, the CEU Eagles fell for the second straight game 80-94. Smith once again led the Eagles with 17 points on 5-9 shooting and 4-8 from the three-point line. Chris Lang added 15 points four rebounds, and five assists and two steals.
The next night the CEU Eagles came out sluggish, but took the halftime lead 44-40, capped off by an 18-2 run near the 10-minute mark of the opening half. Both teams revamped and came out of halftime ready to go. The Golden Eagles, at one point in the second half, held a nine-point lead, but nine second-half turnovers led to the much needed buckets and ultimately the win on behalf of the "other" Golden Eagles, 89-94. Lang, the team captain, led the Eagles with 18 points. Billings also had 18, and Tate Sorensen had 16 and nine rebounds for CEU.
The Golden Eagles look to rebound this weekend as they go on the road to Rangley, Colo., to take on the Spartans from Colorado Northwestern Community College. The Golden Eagles are 4-6 in the SWAC standings, good enough for fifth, but with two wins this weekend and a little help, the Golden Eagles could move up a couple spots. Listen to games this weekend live from Rangely, on 98.3 FM KARB at 7:30 p.m. both nights.
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