Men's Basketball News & Highlights
February 08, 2014
Eagles Break Through At Del Val
The Aggies had been tied for first place in the Freedom Conference entering today's game.
This young Eagles' team received solid contributions from all of the eight players that saw time today and had six players score in double-figures.
Eagles' head coach Nate Stewart said that his guys have continued to work hard in practice and outside of practice and he was glad they were able finally reap the rewards of their hard work. The Eagles' last four games had gone down to the wire, but didn't end in their favor--the Eagles lost those four games by a combined total of 12 points.
"We found a way to break through and have some success," Stewart said. "It was a great team win. We had six guys in double figures. It was pretty impressive."
Coach Stewart also noted that another sign of the team effort was their 15 assists (tied for a season-high) and their out-rebounding the Aggies 43-34.
Senior transfer guard Jordan Diggs led the Eagles with 18 points. He also had six rebounds and three steals. Diggs is finding his stroke with the Eagles, scoring double-digits in five of the last seven games.
"Any time you transfer, it takes a while to get comfortable with a new coach and a new system," Stewart said. "He did a great job being a catalyst to get us over the hump."
Eagles' guard Malcolm Garrison shot 4-for-7 from 3-point range to finish with 15 points. Shaquan Turk finished with 12 points. Anthony Parenti added 11 points and Jimmie Willis and Caleb Knudsen each had 10 points.
Knudsen tallied his sixth double-double after pulling down 11 rebounds. Coach Stewart said that even though Knudsen might be a little short for a power forward, he makes up for it with his effort. "He goes in there every day and just battles. He did a phenomenal job offensively and defensively."
On Saturday, Eastern jumped to a quick 11-2 lead after Garrison sunk two 3-pointers and Diggs hit a mid-range jumpshot and a 3-pointer.
The Eagles stretched their lead to 40-25 with 4:47 left in the first half after Anthony Parenti found Ben Connor making a brilliant cut through the lane to the hoop for a layup.
After Connor's layup, the Aggies assembled a 17-2 run to close out the first half. Aggies' guard Francis Arnold scored 11 of those 17 points, including a 3-pointer two seconds before halftime. Arnold finished with a game-high 28 points.
Eastern went to the locker room still ahead, but just barely, 42-41. The Eagles regained a double-digit lead with sevens minutes left in the second half and still led by 10 with four minutes to play. However, Del Val wouldn't go away and made it a five-point game with 2:55 to go.
Eastern then called time out, and after running 30 seconds off the game clock, missed a 3-pointer, but collected the offensive rebound to give them another chance to run more time off the clock. Diggs, who had gathered the offensive rebound, sank a jumper in the lane with 2:03 remaining, giving Eastern a 78-71 lead.
Diggs, who leads the Eagles from the free-throw line this year (87.5 percent) scored five free throws the remainder of the game to help seal the win for the Eagles.
"I loved when the ball was in his hands at the end of the game, because he's pretty clutch from the free-throw line," coach Stewart said.
Eastern shot 24-for-33 from the line for the game. From the floor, they shot 51.9 percent and held Delaware Valley to 41.7 percent.
The Eagles look to build on Saturday's success when they play Misericordia University at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Updated: Monday, 10 February 2014