USUE Press Release
The Utah State Eastern men’s basketball team defeated the Snow College Badgers 90-73 on Fan Appreciation night Thursday.
In front of a raucous crowd in the Bunnell-Dmitirich Athletic Center, the Eagles were able to get their fourth conference win of the season and tie their conference record at 4-4.
“We played so hard tonight. The guys followed our game plan and were very disciplined,” said USU Eastern head coach Vando Becheli.
A major part of the win on Thursday was the return of sophomore point guard Milan Surlic’ to the lineup after missing last week’s game against the College of Southern Idaho. Surlic’ led the Eagles in scoring with 22 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and three assists with no turnovers.
“He was crucial and was the reason why we won the game. He is capable of scoring, running our team and changing the pace of the game,” said Becheli.
Sophomore guard Landon Swartz also had a big night for the Eagles. He scored 19 points and had a team-high 12 rebounds.
“I hugged him in the middle of the court after the game and said to him ‘Landon, this is your perfect game.’ I loved the shots he took, the energy he brought and the decisions he made. If we can have him like this every game, we are not going to lose very much,” said Surlic’
Coming off their worst shooting performance of the season against CSI last Saturday, where they shot 16% from three-point range and 36% from the field, the Eagles had a much better outing on Thursday.
They shot 46.4% from the field and 28.1% from three against Snow College, thanks in part to the shooting effort of sophomore guard Neema Namdar‘s play off the bench. Namdar scored 13 points off the bench with four three pointers and grabbed five rebounds with three assists.
With a minute left in the game, Namdar helped put the exclamation point on the win with a alley-oop pass to Swartz, who then dunked it over a Snow defender.
“He has been the ‘X-factor’ for us. Teams spend a lot of energy guarding Landon and then when I put Neema in with him being a fresh sharp shooter coming off the bench, teams have a hard time guarding him as well,” said Becheli.
With the win on Thursday, the Eagles move into third place in the conference standings with four games left on the schedule.
“It is always great to be back on the winning streak and I am super thankful for all the people that came to support and give us energy tonight,” said Surlic’.