Badgers overpower two teams, now tied for first in conference
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—The Snow College men’s basketball team went 2-0 last week, beating Colorado Northwestern, 98-61, and Utah State University-Eastern, 68-57, to pull into a tie with USU-E for first place in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
The Badgers easily dispatched the over-manned Spartans, who only dressed eight players for the game. Snow took a 56-25 lead in the first half, and coasted the rest of the game for 37-point victory.
Jake Walker led the Badgers with 15 points, followed closely by Nick Huston with 14. Truman Moore had a team-high 7 rebounds.
The USU-E Eagles came into their game with Snow leading the conference and playing at home. The Eagles’ lineup featured a very tall front court (with players from Serbia) and very strong guard play. This forced a change in the Badgers usual offense, but they reacted superbly.
Instead of feeding leading scorer Moore, the Badgers looked to pass the ball around the perimeter, drive when possible, and find the open shooter, often for a 3-point shot.
“I’m not sure I like how many 3-point shots we’re taking,” said Badger Head Coach Rob Neilson, “but the results are working well.”
The other side of the Badgers’ winning equation is tough defense and timely rebounding. Neilson said he told his players to emphasize their rebounding in the second half, and the Badgers were able to expand their 31-28 half-time lead to an 11-point victory.
Stockton Shorts came up big in the second half, scoring 10 points and securing 10 rebounds. Logan Hokanson, facing an almost frantic Eagle press throughout the game, only gave up one turnover and was essential in setting up the Badgers’ offense.
With the league lead secured, the Badgers will travel to Twin Falls, Idaho to take on the College of Southern Idaho Thursday night, and will host Salt Lake Community College back in Ephraim on Saturday.