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Monsters Open Up New Year With a Win


It's been 17 days since the Eastern Arizona College men's hoops team played its last game, but despite the lengthy layoff, the Monsters eked their way past the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Wolfpack, 76-71. EAC (10-4, 4-2) played an unimpressive first half, primarily due to the long Christmas holiday break. The Monsters, despite their struggles shooting the ball, led the 'Pack, 41-38, at half. "I was disappointed in the first half," EAC head coach Tim Parmeter said. "We didn't do anything we needed to do." EAC, which has a season average field-goal percentage of 52 percent, shot a paltry 38 percent from the field Tuesday. It was Eastern's defense that Parmeter worried about the most, though. "One thing we've really been talking about is our defense," Parmeter said. "We've got to get better. Right now — we're not very good at it."

In the first half, EAC and MATC saw 10 lead changes and four ties, but in the beginning of the second half, EAC appeared to shake off its blunders and took a 14-4 run to give them a 55-42 lead with 14:56 in the second half. That was the Monsters' largest lead in the game. The 'Pack wasn't finished, and had a 11-3 run of its own following EAC's run, and EAC held a small (58-53) lead midway through the second half. "I would like to have built that lead and kept it right about there," Parmeter said, "but we're certainly going to learn a lot more from tonight than if we had played someone else."

EAC continued its balanced scoring attack with Jerryck Owens-Murrey and Marcus Palmer leading EAC with 14 points each. Ervin Youmans and Terry Dunlap added 13. Dunlap, a freshman point guard, had his best game of the year by dishing out six assists while grabbing five steals. Dunlap didn't turn the ball over once in his 30 minutes of play. In the second half, the Wolfpack went on an 11-3 run of its own and trailed by only 56-53 during one juncture.

The closing half was a tough-fought battle, and with 5:14 left, the 'Pack closed in on the Gila Monsters' lead. With only 1:31 left, MATC tied the game at 71, but EAC held the Wolfpack scoreless in the closing seconds. "We couldn't sustain a lead, and I was disappointed we didn't get as much from people off the bench that we have been getting," Parmeter said. The Monsters ended the game with a 5-0 run to garner their win. "We're trying to get back into a routine and back into a rhythm," Parmeter said.

Next week, the Monsters play two ACCAC games against Scottsdale and Pima. Both games will be played on the road. The games are critical if EAC wants to achieve its goal of reaching the playoffs. To win important ACCAC games, Parmeter said the Monsters' goal is to tighten up, and they need to concentrate on the defensive part of the game. "For us to be good, we've got to get better defensively," Parmeter said. "For us to win on the road, we've got to get better defensively." Owens-Murrey and Palmer pulled down eight rebounds apiece to lead EAC in the rebounding department.

Andy Hansen, Sports Editor

Eastern Arizona Courier