Photo by Jeff Barrett
By Jordan Buscarini
Jesse White posted a game-high 19 points as four USU Eastern players reached double-figures in a 75-64 win over the College of Southern Nevada in the opening round of the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon in Richfield.
Playing on a neutral site at the Sevier Valley Center, the Eagles had no problems adjusting to the new environment as they connected on 55% of their shots for the first half. Carrying a 42-27 lead into the break, the Eagles held a comfortable lead throughout the final 20 minutes.
Sophomore Donaval Avila poured in 12 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists as the Eagles defeated Southern Nevada for the fourth time this season. Peter Filipovity contributed 11 points, while Dillon Sorensen scored 10 off the bench.
The Eagles soared defensively in the first half as they held the Coyotes to just two field goals over the first 10 minutes of the game. The offense was given a boost from success beyond the perimeter as the team hit 6-15 from deep in the first half.
Dominique Ford led Southern Nevada with 16 points, seven assists and four steals. Amari James scored nine of his 12 points from deep and Brian Wesley-Lang chipped in with 10.
While USU Eastern controlled the pace offensively, they did struggle to take care of the basketball. Accumulating 20 assists as a team, the Eagles committed 17 turnovers. Despite the high number of mishaps offensively, USU Eastern still won the turnover battle by forcing 22 Southern Nevada turnovers.
With Thursday’s win in the books, the Eagles shifted their focus to Friday’s win-or-go-home contest with the College of Southern Idaho, who earned a first round bye with the No. 2 seed.
CSI won the first three meetings of the season between the two teams, two of which came by single digits.