Badgers keep posting wins, put down
USU Eastern handily, 80-66 at home
By Jacob Clawson
The Snow College men’s basketball team extended their five-game winning streak after shutting down the Utah State Eastern Eagles, 80-66, at home on Thursday.
After scoring consecutive 3-pointers to quickly establish a lead over the Eagles, the Badgers pushed their lead to 10 points in the first half, as USUE struggled to keep up. Before halftime though, the Eagles capitalized on their last possession to shrink the Badgers lead to 9 points to end the half, 38-29.
The second half didn’t support a different story for the Eagles as Snow came out with a stronger fight than before. Soon, the Badgers sported a 21-point lead, allowing themselves to clear the bench, and granted the rest of the team some playing time.
While the Eagles were able to make up part of their deficit during this time, it wasn’t enough to dent Snow’s powerful 3-point shooting. The Badgers finished off the game with a momentum crushing dunk and consecutive three’s to give them a 14-point lead and an 80-66 win.
The Badgers have now cemented their position as the No. 2 seed in the region XVIII tournament at the end of the month.
The Badger’s freshman shooting guard, Matt Norman, scored a game high 24 points after shooting 9-of-13 from the field, along with connecting on 6-of-9 shots behind the 3-point line, including 3 of the team’s 12 steals.
Brayden Johnson followed behind with 11 points of his own, along with Tredyn Christensen who found the basket three times from the field, and twice from the charity line for a total of 9 points.
The Badgers were collectively able to pull off an impressive 47.4 percent shooting average against the Eagles along with 12 steals, 27 rebounds and 4 blocks.
In an interview after the win, Coach Robert Nielson stated his excitement after Norman’s impressive game. “We were able to hold them under 80 and you know it’s fun to see Matt Norman finally play like we know he can play. That’s the Matt we’ve been looking for and he plays like that all the time, so to finally have him do that in a game was really exciting.”
Nielson continued when asked about next week’s game against the No. 1 Bruins, “We’ve got a week to take some time, get ready and healthy and then see if we can’t get those guys here.”
The Badgers will continue their season this week as they take on the Salt Lake Bruins on Thursday at home to finish of the home schedule and close out Snow’s “Pack the HAC” event. Following this, the Badgers will travel to their last scheduled road game of the conference against Colorado Northwestern in Rangeley, Colo.
Despite the Badgers slow start, the young team has really been able to turn it around and finds themselves in a favorable position heading into the region tournament.