Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Calvin Jensen
Utah State Eastern faced off against Northeastern Junior College over the weekend in the first of two back-to-back matchups at the SLCC Invite. After falling behind in the first half, a second half surge helped the Eagles emerge victorious over the Plainsmen with a final score of 86-77.
USU Eastern displayed a balanced offensive effort with Martel Williams leading the scoring charge with an impressive 29 points, shooting 7-18 from the field, including 4-6 from beyond the arc. Dyson Lighthall added 18 points, connecting on 8-13 field goals, and Jack Jamele chipped in nine points with three three-pointers. Taft Mitchell also played a crucial role, putting up nine points and dishing out four assists.
The team’s three-point shooting was a highlight as they connected on 11-20 attempts from long range, finishing the game with a 55% three-point shooting percentage. Their free throw shooting improved in the second half, with an overall game percentage of 80.6%.
Utah State Eastern’s defense proved pivotal as they managed to record 13 steals and three blocks, making it difficult for Northeastern to find a rhythm in the game. Their collective effort on the boards, with 25 total rebounds, also played a significant role in securing the win.
In the second game, USU Eastern secured an impressive 84-67 victory over Eastern Wyoming College thanks to sharp shooting and a solid defensive performance by the Eagles.
Eastern started the game strong, shooting an impressive 51.6% from the field in the first half. The Eagles maintained their lead throughout the game, finishing with a total field goal percentage of 55.4%. Their defense was equally impressive, tallying 10 steals and effectively limiting Eastern Wyoming’s opportunities.
Lighthall led the way for Utah State Eastern, scoring 23 points and contributing five rebounds. Williams also had another standout performance with a double-double, posting 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
The Eagles’ balanced offense and relentless defense set them on the path to victory, improving their record to 3-1 for the season after defeating the Lancers.