While the students of Eastern University returned home, the Eagles’ men’s basketball team was fighting off the competition. The Eagles had a chance to go to beautiful Florida to face new competition. The first team they faced on their short road trip was the Nova Southeastern University Sharks. This was a unique game for the Eagles because the Sharks are a division II team. The Eagles certainly proved to be a challenge for them as they pushed the game into overtime. The Eagles struggled shooting the deep ball, as sharpshooter Malcolm Garrison went 3-13 beyond the arc, which is rare for him. Also, Shaquan Turk was limited to 11 minutes of playing time because of two technical fouls. The Eagles proved they have the talent to compete, they just have to find their groove.
The next game for the Eagles was the start of DIII Holiday Shootout Tournament. The “Turkless” Eagles faced Gwynedd Mercy, losing 93-87. However, on the brighter side, freshman Jordan Johnson scored a season and career high of 20 points. Johnson shot 9-14 with 8 rebounds. The Eagles broke their two-game losing streak when they played UMass-Dartmouth. They won 76-57, dominating them the whole game. Garrison shot the ball phenomenally going 6-8 from three and ending the game with 20 points. After the tournament, the Eagles returned home to face Ursinus College and lost in a close game, 84-80.
The Eagles won two important games recently. The first game was against Manhattanville, in which they won 82-81. The veterans, Turk and Garrison, had help from Victor Peña and Jonathan Tolber. Both players scored 13 points in a nail biter of a game. The next game was 96-62 blowout against Misericordia. The entire Eagles roster scored in the game and showed the future talent they have. The Eagles proved their dominance in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. Throughout the whole game they played stellar defense not allowing the opposing team into the paint and forcing to shoot from the perimeter. Senior Garrison led the team with 24 points and shooting 50% from three. Turk finished the game with a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The player that stood out to me, though he only played for five minutes, was freshman Austin Duncan. He exhibited the capability to shoot threes and he hustles for every rebound.
An important game coming up this season for the Eagles will be against Delaware Valley University. Earlier in the season, the Eagles lost 81-79 in which it was a close game. The Eagles will certainly have the upper hand as they are coming into this game. As long as the team stays confident and executes key plays they will certainly dominate DVU. The Eagles are currently 3-3 in conference play, and the eight games are all conference games. Coach McNelley has to make sure to have his players on point towards the end of the season. The Eagles have the talent to dominate the conference, but they have to stay focused.