USUE Press Release
Utah State Eastern men’s basketball lost to the College of Southern Idaho 88-73 at home on Saturday night.
Saturday’s loss gives the Eagles their second loss of the season to CSI. They previously lost on the road at CSI 114-77 on Jan. 20.
The teams went back and forth in the first half, with both teams taking the lead multiple times and the Eagles taking a three-point lead into halftime.
“We played really good defense by holding them to only 39 points. In the first half, we kept ourselves in the game with okay shooting,” said USU Eastern head coach Vando Becheli.
Five minutes into the second half, CSI started to separate themselves from USU Eastern and took a six-point lead.
The rest of the second half saw CSI build a double-digit lead until two free throws made by USU Eastern’s Ognjnen Pantovic with 3:39 left to cut the lead to eight.
CSI would go on to hold off the Eagles by scoring 13 points in the final three minutes of the game.
USU Eastern sophomore Rafael Monteiro finished the night with a team-high 26 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
“He played hard and fought hard; him scoring in the paint and going against their bigs was huge for us,” said Becheli.
Making his first start since being injured, sophomore guard Landon Swartz added 18 points and five rebounds.
On the season, USU Eastern was shooting over 42% as a team from behind the three-point line. In Saturday’s game, the Eagles shot five of 30 and 16.7% from three-point territory.
“We should have shot better but for some reason our shots did not fall. We never have that type of performance,” said Becheli.
The Eagles will turn their attention to Snow College, who will come to town this Thursday.
“Snow is pretty similar to our team, pushing the ball hard and being aggressive. We need to play well against their bigs and limit their second chance points,” said Becheli.
Snow defeated USU Eastern 76-65 on Jan. 18 in Ephraim.
Thursday’s game is part of the annual fan appreciation night and tips off at 7:30 p.m. Admission to Thursday’s game against Snow is free along with food while supplies last.
Fans who cannot make it to the game on Thursday can watch on the USU Eastern Athletics YouTube channel.