By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The Utah State University Eastern men’s basketball team finished the fan appreciation nightcap game as they squared off with the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles at 7 p.m. in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center on Thursday. In a back-and-forth thriller, USU Eastern sealed the win down the stretch 67-61.
Sparked by Donaval Avila Jr.’s seven first half points, the Eagles stayed within striking distance, trailing only by two at the break, 30-32. After trailing by as much as 11, USU Eastern made a run with six minutes remaining in the half. A few key three-pointers by Peyton Falslev and a thunderous dunk from Turahn Thompson got the home crowd and the team right back in the game.
In the spread scoring affair, three Eagles were in double figures. Thompson led the way with 15, Avila Jr. had 13 and Gabriel Oliveira had 11. The USUE bench was the difference maker in the contest, outscoring the CSI bench 29-11. A total team contributing win was the theme of the victory.
Down the stretch, another bring-down-the-house dunk from Thompson along with a huge blocked shot and back-to-back buckets from Oliveira cemented the win and cap stoned Thursday night’s fan appreciation evening.
The Eagles (11-10, 2-3) will be back in action on Jan. 30 as they take on Snow College, once again at home in the BDAC.