Eastern dug themselves a hole during the first half and trailed by 11, 37-26 at the break. The problems got worse for the Monsters as they saw the South lead grow early in the second half. South scored the first seven points to push the lead to 18, it would get as large as 21 with just over 6 minutes to play before EAC mounted a comeback. The last six minutes saw Eastern implement a smaller, quicker lineup that forced several turnovers leading to EAC baskets. Despite the charge, Eastern still trailed by 8 with 51 seconds remaining. A furious final surge fell just short as a three point attempt as the buzzer sounded rimmed out for the Monsters.
Jeremy Haggerty led the Monsters with 26 points, including 16 in the last six minutes. Jeremy Long chipped in with 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals and Brandon Powell came off the bench to provide a late spark and ended the game with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Eastern (10-8, 5-5) will return home for two games this week as they play host to Central Arizona on Wednesday and then face second place Glendale on Saturday. Both games will tip at 7:30 MST and can be heard live on www.swsn.net with Ron Keith and Lee Patterson.