Eastern University’s men’s basketball started their season on Nov. 14 with a home game against Rosemont College. The Eagles fell to the Rosemont Ravens with a score of 78-68. Last season, they beat the Ravens by just one point, and so the season opening loss was especially disappointing. Despite the loss, the Eagles were able to show great potential. Junior Shaquan Turk put up 18 points for the Eagles, including a 3-pointer. Turk also led the team in rebounds, collecting 9 for the night. Many of the freshmen made collegiate debuts, including Abraham Kurnick who bucketed 12 points. Senior Malcolm Garrison followed closely behind with 11 points for the night.
In the second game of the season, the Eagles were able to turn things around with an exciting win against Cabrini College in the ‘Battle of Eagle Road.’ On Nov. 17, with just a few seconds left in the game, Garrison nailed a long 3-pointer to snatch the lead from the Cavaliers, putting the Eagles ahead by just one point with a score of 86-85. Cabrini quickly called a timeout to formulate a last ditch attempt to win the game, but the Eagles were able to hold them off until time expired. In the packed gym, EU fans erupted in excitement and stormed the court to celebrate with the team. Head Coach Eric McNelley earned his first win with the Eagles with this hard-fought battle over Cabrini. Garrison struggled earlier in the night, going scoreless until the last 9 minutes when he put away three 3-pointers for a total of 9 points. Though Garrison well-deservedly stole the glory that night, Turk led the Eagles in scoring with 25 points in total while junior Austin Carroll accounted for 10 of the Eagles’ points. Turk also collected 9 rebounds for the night, and freshman Victor Peña added another 8. This win against Cabrini marked the first time EU has claimed victory over the Cavaliers in over 7 seasons.
In the Coaches vs. Cancer Tipoff at Geneva College, EU matched up against Geneva on Friday, November 20 and earned a 96-73 victory over the Golden Tornadoes. The Eagles were easily able to handle Geneva, as Turk scored 18 points, followed by Kurnick with 15 and Garrison with 12. In the rebounding column, Kurnick racked up 9, Turk had 7, and freshman point guard Anthony Fernandez had 6.
On November 21, in the second game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tipoff, the Eagles secured another significant victory against Grove City College with a score of 74-57. Garrison led the Eagles with 23 points. Former Eagle Caleb Knudsen of Grove City scored 9 points to lead GC in scoring, alongside teammates Joe Vermilya and Cory Huff. EU Guards Carroll and Anthony Concepcion both had 4 assists, along with Turk.
The Eagles have a streak of three conference games in the near future, starting with Wilkes University on Dec. 2.
On November 14 the Eagles Women’s Basketball team started off their season with a win against Rosemont College at home. Junior forward Emily Lavin put up impressive figures, finishing the game with 25 points, 23 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Sophomore Taylor Price put up 17 points and 5 assists, while freshman Reggie Robinson scored 15 points in her first collegiate game. With this victory, Eric Houston earned his first win as Head Coach of the Eagles. While the Eagles lost several key players from last season, the new squad proved that they could hold their own. Houston made some big adjustments to accommodate this team’s style of play, and each individual proved that she could fill her role.
On November 17, they earned their second win of the season against Cabrini College. The Eagles were able to maintain a lead for the majority of the time and set the tone for the entire game. Robinson stood out once again as she scored 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for the Eagles. Price finished the game with 14 points and 6 boards, while Lavin ended with 12 points and 8 boards. Junior point guard Emily McPeak kept the Eagles composed during the second half whenever the Cavaliers started gaining momentum. The Eagles played with the perfect balance of tenacity and control to secure the win.
At the Kean Classic tournament in Union, New Jersey, the Eagles went 1-1 for the weekend, starting with a loss against the University of Texas at Dallas on Friday, Nov. 20. The Eagles were short just 5 points in their first loss of the season, finishing the game with a final score of 67-62. Once again, Robinson led the team with 20 points, followed by Price with 17 and Lavin with 12. Lavin made up for 9 of the team’s 10 blocks and led the team in assists, serving out 6 in total. In the loss, the Eagles gave up 32 turnovers, compared to only 17 turnovers by the Comets.
The very next day, however, the Eagle’s were able pick up a win in the Kean Classic against the College of Staten Island. Lavin put up a season high of 33 points against the Dolphins. Sophomore Taylor Azer scored her first double-digit points of the season with a total of 17, while Robinson and Price added 17 and 13, respectively. McPeak dished out 9 assists to lift the Eagles, followed by price with 7. The Eagles accounted for 23 turnovers, while the Dolphins only gave up 6.
The Eagles are off to a strong start this season with only one loss in their first three games. Though the Eagles only have 3 upperclassmen—1 senior and 2 juniors—they have quickly adjusted to a new team dynamic. In December, the Eagles will begin conference play with matchups against Wilkes University on Dec. 2 and Delaware Valley University on Dec. 5.