Utah State Eastern men’s basketball picked up a pair of home wins this weekend against Impact Academy. The Eagles defeated Impact on Friday night 104-64 and 101-72 on Saturday night.
Despite only being up six at halftime in the first matchup, the Eagles would blow the game open with a 69-point second half.
In Friday’s game, sophomore point guard Milan Surlic’ led the Eagles with 15 points along with three rebounds. The Eagles also got a boost off the bench from freshmen Carson Bischoff and Matija Novikovic who combined scored 27 points with nine rebounds.
Sophomore Rafael Monteiro‘s 23 points led the Eagles to a 29-point win on Saturday to conclude USU Eastern’s home non-conference schedule.
After the game, Utah State Eastern head coach Vando Becheli said that even though his team has played Impact five times, the games are very valuable to the development of his team.
“We use these games to correct little mistakes that we have been working on,” said Becheli.
One of the key storylines of the weekend was the return of both sophomores Sam Velez and Landon Swartz from injuries.
“With Sam and Landon coming back, it was good for me to evaluate them during game situations,” said Becheli.
Swartz scored 16 points and two steals in Saturday’s win, a performance that Becheli said was very impressive.
“He was our best guard while he is still coming back from injury. He is the type of guard we need, he is very versatile,” said Becheli.
In his first game action in over two weeks, Swartz said after the game that it’s a relief to be back to help his team.
“Feels good to be back, there is some stuff I can’t do a 100 percent so I had to switch up my game, hopefully next week I can do things 100 percent,” said Swartz.
With the pair of wins, the Eagles have an overall record of 7-4.
They will head to Ephraim this weekend for the Snow Tournament to play two games against teams they played earlier this season in Treasure Valley Community College and Central Wyoming.
Surlic’, a team captain, said that his team will have to take advantage of practice time to help them continue their winning streak.
“The next two games are some of the most important games this season and if we come to practice with the right mindset it will help us win those two games,” said Surlic’.
The Eagles will tip-off the tournament on Friday night at 5 p.m. against Treasure Valley. On Saturday afternoon, they will conclude the tournament with a rematch against Central Wyoming at 3 p.m.