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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Mountaineers bounce back to split at home

Kalvin Johanson saved the day for his team in the closing seconds Saturday.

The Eastern Oregon University post blocked a driving lay-in to help preserve a 75-73 win against the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Kyle Waits had an open lane to the basket, but Johanson used his speed and his wing span to block the shot with 30 seconds left in the game.

Plus, Brandon Bautista proved to be human at the end of the game. The Owls’ guard was a perfect 9-of-9 from the floor, but missed a corner 3-point shot to end the game. He finished with a game-high 27 points.

The Mountaineers were able to hit shots from behind the arc Saturday, something they failed to do the night before. Craig Tucker connected on four shots from behind the arc, and finished with a team-high 18 points.

But, it was Trevor Phillips who brought the crowd to their feet with a pair of dunks. The first came on a spinning post move that ended with the flush. His second woke the crowd up right after halftime.

Phillips finished with 15 points.

Tony Eackles Jr. scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, while Kyllian Wood also finished with 14 points.

Johanson finished with three blocks in the game.

Deonta Edwards grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

The Mountaineers (10-2) will have the week off before returning to action on the road against at Concordia University Jan. 3.

Friday, The Eastern Oregon University men’s basketball team faced a tough battle against No. 2 Southern Oregon, and it didn’t get any easier without the shots falling.

Despite getting open looks at the basket, the Mountaineers couldn’t convert during an 83-60 loss to the visiting Raiders from Ashland Friday, dropping to 1-2 in conference play.

EOU went 1-of-16 from behind the arc, and 7-of-26 from the floor in the first half. The Mountaineers also had 11 turnovers, which led to a 35-22 deficit at halftime.

The Mountaineers’ leading scorer Tony Eackles Jr. had an off night, going 0-of-10 from the field, finishing with just four points from the free-throw line. Trevor Phillips led the Mountaineers with 18 points, while Derek Maloney added 12 points. Deonta Edwards contributed 10 points on a night the EOU bench outscored the starters 42-18.

Southern Oregon’s leading scorer, Eric Thompson, got into foul trouble early, but still paced his team with 16 points. David Sturner and Jeff Bush finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Justin Martin came off the bench to score 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.

The Mountaineers bounced back to shoot 44 percent from the floor in the second half. But, the defense that led the NAIA headed into the game couldn’t slow the Raiders down. Southern Oregon shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, and finished at 48 percent for the game.


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