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Badgers kick off conference play with win over Utah State Eastern

Brantzen Blackner goes hard for the basket during the back-and-forth battle 81-72 battle against the Salt Lake Community College

 

Badgers kick off conference play

with win over Utah State Eastern

 

By Jacob Clawson

Staff writer

1-16-2020

 

The Snow College Men’s Basketball team defended home court last Thursday in front of the season’s largest crowd against Utah State Eastern, 71-56, before falling short to conference leader, Salt Lake Community College, 72-81.

Coming home off of a two-game game losing streak in Arizona, The Badgers needed the win to keep their season on track as the Scenic West Athletic Conference play kicked off last week.

Snow opened with a strong victory over Utah State Eastern, but kicked the dust as Salt Lake Community College scraped out a win to end the week.

Utah State Eastern put up a worthy fight as they took the lead early on in the first half. With only 3:40 left in the half, Snow took advantage of the endless rebounds the Eagles coughed up and turned the lead around with an increase in tempo, ending the first half 35-27.

Unlike the previous half, the second half started out slow with shots rarely finding the net on both sides, resulting in a score of 41-37 with only 10 minutes left in the game. Eventually enough fouls were committed by both teams that a bunch of free throws were shot. Snow pulled out a 15 point lead to end the game 71-56.

Salt Lake Community College provided a different set of challenges to the Badgers as the lead was constantly changing hands during the first half. Snow ended up trailing the Bruins by two points, 38-40, at the half.

Refereeing was also a constant fight on both sides of the ball, for both teams, as calls were unwelcomed and misunderstood by the crowds, players and coaches alike. Despite the questionable mediation, the Badgers were able to tie up the score in the middle of the second half only to lose their momentum and fall to a nine point deficit.

Even after a series of plays and calls that fell into their favor, Snow found themselves a basket away from the lead, but couldn’t capitalize on the moment and trailed to a final score of 72-81 to end the game.

After Saturday’s loss, Coach Robert Neilson, shared a few thoughts about the game. “We shot some bad shots and didn’t get good movement and just didn’t get our rebounds,” he said. “Lots of mental errors where we didn’t do what we were supposed to do”.

While errors have cost the Badgers possible victories, the real struggle for the team right now is finding players who are willing to step up. “We just have to find somebody,” Nielson said. “We got a couple of guys who are stepping up, but you know Tredyn is stepping up and Jonah is stepping up, Brantzen is going to play his solid game and Brayden plays his solid game. We just need to get two or three more guys who can step up and play that way.”

As conference play continues, Snow will take to the road as they travel to Rangely, Co. on Thursday of this week to play Colorado Northwestern, before taking a day off and then heading north to Twin Falls, Idaho to face College of Southern Idaho. The Badgers will need to bring home some victories on the road if they wish to capitalize on their season and move towards a winning record.