In front of a roaring crowd of 3,253 fans, the Eagle’s talliedyet another victory to their eleven-game winning streak Feb. 21 atReese Court, beating fourth-ranked Portland State, 65-60.
The Eagles, although winning the tip-off, fell behind in theearly part of the first half. However, throughout the half, theEagles offense stood strong, gaining 31 points by half time whilethe Vikings held on at 28 points.
A defensively strong start to the second half allowed the Eaglesto hold the Vikings to scoring only three points in the first fiveminutes of play. With two of their players fouling out in thelatter part of the second half, the Vikings continued to battlestrong. At a minute 13 in the game the score was 61-59, with theEagles barely hanging on to their lead. Yet, due to two fouls onPortland, the Eagles were able to secure their victory with a scoreof 65 to 60.
Despite the win, this game was not the Eagles best performance.”We have to get back to guarding people, get back to guarding theball,” said Coach Ray Giacoletti.
The Eagles have only three games in the next few weeks and planon giving all their energy to prepare for the Conferencetournament.
“You have got to perform every single day; if someone wants itmore than you they are going to come out on top,” saidGiacoletti.
“They [Portland State] brought it. They had a lot of energy. Itis sort of a wake-up call. If we want to win the Conferencetourney, we can’t have a performance like that,” said BrendonMerritt.
Rebounding is a big part of the Eagles strategy. Each game it istheir goal to try to out rebound the other team. “What saved ustonight was our good job of rebounding. Portland state wanted itmore than we did,” said Giacoletti.
“I think we needed something to keep us focused. We will comeout Monday and find a way to get our hunger back. We are achampionship caliber team and we have got to find a way to fightback,” said Alvin Snow.
This is one of the few times that the Eagles have had a victoryon senior night.
Brendon Merritt led with 15 points one rebound and had threeblocks. Alvin Snow tacked on 14 points, nine rebounds and also hadthree blocks. Marc Axton followed with 10 points and seven reboundsand Matt Nelson also had ten points and four rebounds. DannyPariseau had eight points and one rebound while both Gregg Smithand Paul Butorac tallied four points each, Butorac with 3rebounds.
The Eagles will meet seventh ranked Weber State, at Weber?s homecourt, on Feb. 26 at 6:05 p.m.