Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Calvin Jensen
The Eagles traveled to Twin Falls, ID over the weekend and put on an impressive display as they picked up two dominating victories, wrapping up non-conference play as they head into Christmas break.
Up first for the Eagles was Eastern Wyoming College. The game began with both teams battling to set the tone, trading baskets and showcasing their offensive ability.
Despite the tight first half, the Eagles found themselves trailing by a narrow margin, with Eastern Wyoming holding a slim 32-30 lead at halftime. USU Eastern struggled with shooting accuracy in the opening half, but was determined to turn things around after making crucial adjustments during the halftime break.
Martel Williams emerged as a force to be reckoned with, recording another double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Williams’ inside presence, combined with sharpshooting from Ethan Copeland and Ryker Richards, helped Utah State Eastern outscore Eastern Wyoming 42-21 in the second half.
The team’s three-point shooting improved significantly, with a 33.3% success rate in the second half. Seven three-pointers, four from Copleland, kept the defense of the Lancers’ on their heels.
Defense for the Eagles was equally impressive, tallying nine steals and three blocks. Dyson Lighthall’s exceptional performance on the boards, securing 11 rebounds, played a pivotal role in limiting the Lancer’s second-chance opportunities. USU Eastern secured a lopsided 72-53 victory to begin the weekend tournament.
The following day, the Eagles soared over the competition with another commanding victory over Utah Prep Basketball Academy. From the opening tip-off, Utah State Eastern established an early lead and never looked back. Eastern shot an impressive 47.4% from the field.
Brady Arbon had an impressive showing in the game, leading all scorers with 20 points. Martel Williams delivered a similar performance, tallying 18 points and contributing a valuable presence on both ends of the court.
Dyson Lighthall’s continued to be a dominating factor in the paint with eight rebounds with Kendall Alexander and Braden Heaton picking up seven rebounds of their own. The team’s collective effort on the boards, with a total of 50 rebounds compared to Utah Prep’s 38, reflected their control the paint.
As the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard reflected a dominating 94-45 victory for the Eagles.
The Eagles will enter the holiday break before they open up SWAC Region 18 play at home against Community Christian College on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. inside the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center.