EWU comes back in regulation, hangs on in overtime to top Southern Utah


Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

EWU senior forward Mason Peatling ducks in for a layup. Peatling scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in EWU’s 81-78 victory over Southern Utah Saturday.

By Drew Lawson, Sports Editor

The EWU men’s basketball team (5-2, 12-6) trailed the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (4-3, 11-7) by six points with one minute left in regulation Saturday. Two three-pointers by junior guard Jacob Davison and senior forward Mason Peatling and two key defensive stops later, and the game was headed to overtime. EWU then hung on in the extra frame for a 81-78 victory.

“Our guys played tough,” EWU head coach Shantay Legans said. “Today we played 45 minutes of tough basketball.”

Peatling was the player of the game Saturday. The senior post player scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots. Peatling hit the game-tying three-pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation.

Peatling said EWU’s comeback mentality is one that has been grown through experience.

“I think we showed a lot of character by flipping the script tonight,” Peatling said.

The win marked the fourth time in five Big Sky Conference wins that EWU won by just one possession. Legans said he hopes to win every game by 40 points, but close games show the team’s character.

“In these types of games, you have to be ready,” Legans said. “When you get to the (Big Sky Conference) tournament, that’s the type of game it’s going to be like.”

EWU struggled from the free throw line, going just 15-27. The Eagles were able to offset that difficulty by hitting 10 threes and holding SUU to 5-14 shooting from deep.

Legans said he thought EWU did a good job of sticking to its game plan when SUU was talking a lot of trash throughout the game.

“Early in the game, you walk out, and you hear stuff,” Legans said. “You hear them talking. (There’s) disrespect, sometimes … Our guys are focused, they’re locked in. (SUU) is talking a lot of trash. You hear that stuff as a player … and our guys aren’t fazed. We’ve played some pretty good teams this year. I think (we) take the challenge on.”

EWU returns home for another big game Monday, Jan. 27 against the Northern Colorado Bears (5-2, 12-6). EWU and UNC are tied for second place in the BSC. Tip-off on Monday is at 6:05 p.m.