The Eastern University Eagles Men’s Basketball team accomplished this year what other teams were not able to achieve in school history: win 11 conference games. Thus, the Eagles were granted the chance to have a playoff game at home for the first time in seven years. The Eagles played host to the Cougars of Misericordia University. During the season, Eastern took the Cougars to overtime in their first meeting back in January in St. Davids; the Eagles pulled away with a 112-107 victory. In their second meeting in front of a rambunctious crowd in Dallas, Pennsylvania the Eagles silenced the Cougars by holding them to 24-percent shooting from beyond the arc to win convincingly, 87-64.
On Feb. 22, Eastern and Misericordia met in St. Davids in the MAC Freedom Tournament. Although it was close at the half, the Cougars, with the top-scoring offense in the conference, pulled away to an 85-65 victory. Misericordia later went on to beat DeSales for the MAC Conference Championship.
Meanwhile, the EU Women’s Basketball team was also in a position to make waves in the conference playoffs. For the fifth straight year, the Eagles were vying for a spot in the big dance in NCAA Division III. Eastern went on the road to face FDU-Florham in the MAC Conference Semifinals. The Eagles were considered underdogs to the top-seeded Devils. Just like the Men’s team, the Eagles kept it close to make the opposition nervous throughout. With just 40 seconds left in the game, Eastern was in striking distance to upset FDU-Florham. Then, a steal for the Devils put the game out of reach after sinking some free throws to make it a 66-60 final over the Eagles.
Both Eastern teams have seniors that are moving on to greater heights, including five from the Men’s and one from the Women’s team. However, both teams have players that will be returning to replicate their success and take it to the next level. These Eastern Eagles have a bright future next year to build and grow together.