Finally at Home, Eagles Host Titans Friday

Cal State Fullerton visits as EWU plays five of its next six games at Reese Court

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Upcoming Games

Friday, Nov. 30 - Reese Court (6,000) - Cheney, Wash.
6:05 p.m. - Cal State Fullerton at Eastern Washington


Coaches Show

Tuesdays (Starting Nov. 27) at 6 p.m. at The Swinging Doors in North Spokane . . . 700-AM ESPN, & via iphone app. (search for “Spokane Radio” and download app). Shows are each Tuesday from Nov. 27-Dec. 18 and from Jan. 15 to March 12, and feature head coach Jim Hayford and host Larry Weir. The Swinging Doors is located at W. 1018 Francis in Spokane.


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Reese Court – even if it’s used mostly for practice in the coming days – has never looked better to the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team.

The Eagles, who went 1-5 on a season-opening six-game road stretch, hosts Cal State Fullerton on Friday (Nov. 30) at 6:05 p.m. in Cheney, Wash., in Eastern’s home debut. The Eagles haven’t played at Reese Court since defeating Concordia (Ore.) 96-70 in an exhibition game on Nov. 4.

“I saw some things from our team we can really build on,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “We haven’t been at home in a long time, but now we’ll be in Cheney for an extended period of time. We’ve played some hard road games and it will be good to practice and play at home again.”

The radio broadcast of Friday’s game will air on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at and via iPhone application (search for “700 ESPN” and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via and tunein’s mobile phone app. Larry Weir returns for his 20th year as the play-by-play voice of the Eagles.

With eight newcomers blending together with six letter winners (not including redshirts), the Eagles have had a lot of highs and lows thus far. Eastern’s lone win was a 75-70 victory over South Carolina Upstate, a team that won 20 games a year ago and played in the Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Eagles lost to another 20-game winner and CIT participant, Utah Valley, by just three points (86-83).

“It was almost like an NBA exhibition season for us, although I know they all count,” said Hayford. “We’ve learned a lot about our team. Now, we have a lot of really good data – we know what works, what doesn’t work and what we need to do to improve. Now we need to come together as a team.”

Eastern led 43-32 at halftime against Utah Valley, and even had a 31-26 lead late in the first half of an 85-66 loss on Nov. 18 to Saint Mary’s – a NCAA Tournament participant a year ago. Most recently -- in EWU’s third game in four nights -- Eastern fell 89-74 to an unbeaten Santa Clara squad.

“If you go out and play hard games on the road, it’s going to show you what your strengths and weaknesses are,” added Hayford. “I was hoping we could come out of this trip 2-4, but maybe that’s a lesson too. You have to win those winnable games.”

 Cal State Fullerton enters the game 3-2, with losses to Stanford (81-68) and Nevada (80-77) followed by wins over Southern Utah (112-69), Green Bay (93-82) and San Diego Christian (106-60). Eastern is 1-4 all-time versus the Titans, including last year’s 91-75 loss in Fullerton.

The trio of Kwame Vaughn, D.J. Seeley and Sammy Yeager have combined to average 53.6 points per game for Cal State Fullerton, which finished 21-10 overall last season and 12-4 in the Big West Conference to place second. Vaughn (18.4) and Seeley (18.2) are guards, and Yeager (17.0) is a 6-4 forward.

Hayford knows the Titans will be a lot like the opponents the Eagles have played, plus the ones Eastern will play in the upcoming month. Eastern hosts Idaho on Dec. 6 and Seattle on Dec. 10, then plays at UC Davis on Dec. 17 before starting Big Sky Conference play.

“Those are all really well-coached teams,” said Hayford. “Before we start league play, we play four opponents similar to the ones we faced in the first six games. Now we need to see if we measure up. When Weber State comes to town, that’s when it really matters.”

The Eagles open league play at home against Weber State on Dec. 20, followed two days later by a visit from Idaho State.


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The complete version of the 2012 EWU men’s basketball fact book may be found at:


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Quick Shots

* The EWU men’s basketball team played its first six games away from home, but now plays five of six in an improved Reese Court setting. Eastern will play its home games for the 38th season at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. But last spring new premium seating was added on the scorer’s table/team benches side, and the existing wooden bleachers were moved to the ends of the court. In addition, a new video board has been added to the existing scoreboard at Reese Court this fall, and will make its debut on Nov. 30.

* True freshman forward Venky Jois from Boronia, Australia, was selected to the All-Tournament Team for his performances in the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic in Santa Clara, Calif. He averaged 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 blocked shots per game. He had a pair of double-doubles with 19 points and 11 rebounds in EWU’s 75-70 win over South Carolina Upstate and 16 points and 11 boards one game earlier in an 86-83 loss to Utah Valley. For the season, Jois is averaging 32.7 minutes, 8.2 rebounds,  1.5 blocked shots, 1.0 steals and 1.0 assists per game. Jois came to Eastern after winning a pair of MVP awards in Australia. He was the Bob Staunton 2012 U-20 National Championship MVP, after leading the Victoria State Team to the championship and an unbeaten record. Saint Mary’s College and NBA standout Patty Mills won the Bob Staunton MVP Award in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Jois was the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) Youth Player of the Year in 2011, an award given to the top under-23 player and previously won by college and NBA standouts Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.

* Senior Collin Chiverton, last year’s Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year, has scored 19 points in his last two games to hike his average to 11.0 for the season. Chiverton, whose mother passed away as the season began, has scored 51 points in his last three games after scoring just 15 in EWU’s first three outings. Foul trouble has hindered him this season, and he scored 19 points in just 18 minutes before fouling out with 6:20 to play against South Carolina Upstate in EWU’s 75-70 win. One game later, he made 7-of-15 attempts from the field, including 4-of-12 3-point attempts, versus Santa Clara for his second-straight 19-point game. His performances were his best since scoring 20 versus UC Irvine on Feb. 18 last season.  A year ago, he had 12 20-point performances, but was slowed late in the year with injuries.

* Eastern is the early-season leader in the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots, with 32 already for an average of 5.3 per game. The Eagles had a school record 130 in the 2005-06 season (4.3 average per game).

* The Eagles are also leading the league in 3-pointers made per game (10.7) while attempting an average of 29.0 per game.  Last year, when EWU set school records with 283 makes and 793 attempts, Eastern averaged 8.8 made treys per game on an average of 24.8 attempts.

* A trio of Eagles are currently leading the Big Sky Conference in statistical categories. Venky Jois leads in rebounds (8.2), Justin Crosgile leads in assists (6.5) and Martin Seiferth is tops in blocked shots (3.2). In addition, Crosgile leads in minutes played (35.7), and he and Collin Chiverton are second in 3-pointers made per game (2.5).

* Three Eagles rank in the top nine in school history in career 3-pointers made. Jeffrey Forbes is fourth (150), Kevin Winford is fifth (117) and Collin Chiverton is ninth (103). In attempts, Forbes is fourth (396) and Winford (343) is fifth, and Chiverton is seventh in career 3-point field goal percentage (41.0).

* In pro-rated statistics per 40 minutes played, Collin Chiverton has a team-leading 26.1 scoring average, followed by Danny Powell  (25.0), Tyler Harvey (21.1), Jordan Hickert (21.1), Martin Seiferth (16.2), Justin Crosgile (15.9), Kevin Winford (15.8) and Venky Jois (14.9). Seiferth leads in rebounding (11.4) and blocked shots (5.1), and Crosgile leads in assists (7.3).

* The Eagles have been picked to finish as high as third in the 2012-13 Big Sky Conference preseason men’s basketball polls released Oct. 18. The media have picked the Eagles to finish third, and the coaches selected Eastern sixth. Defending Big Sky champion Montana has been selected first in both polls.


More Game Notes

* It’s obvious, Eastern’s transfers were anxious to play again after having to watch the 2011-12 season from the bench. Both Justin Crosgile (St. Joseph’s) and Martin Seiferth (Oregon) had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. Thus far, Crosgile is averaging a team-leading 14.2 points and a Big Sky-leading 6.0 assists, as well as 5.2 rebounds per game. Seiferth is averaging 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and a Big Sky-leading 3.2 blocked shots per game. With performances of 28 and 27 points, respectively, they just missed a spot on Eastern’s all-time leading scorers list, with 30 points scored by 10 different players to rank 39th.

* In Eastern’s season-opening 88-70 loss at Washington State, junior point guard Justin Crosgile, a transfer from St. Joseph’s, had 28 points and five assists in his Eagle debut in a losing effort. Crosgile made 9-of-24 shots, including 7-of-17 3-point attempts. He also had four rebounds, but made just 3-of-14 shots in the first half, making him 6-of-10 after intermission. Crosgile’s performance was the best debut for an Eagle since EWU moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season. Last year, his Eagle teammate Collin Chiverton scored 25 against Gonzaga, and the previous most was scored the year before by Tremayne Johnson with 21 versus San Jose State. Interestingly, current Detroit Piston Rodney Stuckey scored only 14 points in his debut against Pacific Lutheran in the 2005-06 season. Crosgile’s scoring output was also the second-best season-opening performance by an Eagle since David Peed scored 29 points on Nov. 25, 1989, in EWU’s 96-84 loss to BYU. Versus Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12, Crosgile had 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

* Three Eagles who played for the highly-successful City College of San Francisco basketball team returned to the Bay Area for a quartet of games in November. Collin Chiverton is from San Jose, and Ivan Dorsey and Garrett Moon are both from San Francisco. That trio helped lead CCSF to the 2010-11 California Community Colleges Athletic Association title and finish 32-1. San Francisco finished the season with a 27-game winning streak, and was a perfect 12-0 to win the Coast-North title. The year after, Dorsey and Moon (who is redshirting this season) led the Rams to a 27-3 record, meaning those two players were on the winning end of 54 of 59 games in junior college. Chiverton also returned to his former college on the trip -- he redshirted the 2008-09 season while at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. In last year’s 77-61 loss to the Gaels, Chiverton scored 18 points for EWU. He had seven points in just 15 minutes before fouling out in this year’s meeting.

* With the addition of North Dakota and Southern Utah into the Big Sky Conference, Eastern’s league slate will include 20 games for the first time. The Big Sky Conference Tournament will take place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion. After being a six-team affair for most of its history, it will now include seven teams, with the regular season champion receiving a first-round bye. The tournament will include a quarterfinal round with six of the teams playing, followed by semifinals and the championship game.

* In all, Eastern’s 2012-13 schedule includes 10 games versus eight schools who participated in national postseason tournaments a year ago. Eastern will play six games against those opponents on the road, and four games at home. Two appeared in the NCAA Tournament – Saint Mary’s (Nov. 18 on the road) and Montana (Jan. 3 on the road and Feb. 2 at home). Washington State (Nov. 10 on the road) played in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, and lost to Pittsburgh 89-69 in the championship game. The other five postseason opponents on EWU’s schedule were all in the Postseason Tournament (CIT). Weber State (Dec. 20 at home and March 9 on the road), Idaho (Dec. 6 at home) and South Carolina Upstate (Nov. 21 on the road) advanced to the second round. Utah Valley (Nov. 20 on the road) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 30 at home) played in the first round.

* The preseason for the Eagles consisted of a 96-70 victory over Concordia, as well as a closed-door scrimmage two weeks earlier. Eastern also went on a six-game, seven-day trek across British Columbia in September. NCAA Division I schools are allowed to make one preseason foreign trip every four years, including up to 10 practices and six games. Of the 15 players on his roster, 14 of them played during the tour. In winning six games in six nights, the Eagles had a different leading scorer each night. On the floor, the trip helped Hayford blend together returning letterwinners, redshirts, four-year transfers, a junior college transfer and lots of incoming high school players. It also helped develop camaraderie and a team-first attitude among a melting pot of a roster consisting of Germans, Australians and Americans from five different states.

* After losing four seniors to graduation from his first Eastern team, Hayford’s 2012-13 squad will return two starters and four other returning letterwinners. His team also includes three players who redshirted last season – featuring a pair of NCAA Division I transfers – with six newcomers rounding out his squad. One guard and three players 6-7 or taller were lost from last year’s team.

* Eastern finished 15-17 overall and was 8-8 in Big Sky Conference play to finish fourth, and the Eagles hosted and won their first Big Sky Conference Tournament game since 2006. Eastern improved by five victories from the year before, as the Eagles equaled their most wins since Eastern made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.

* Eastern’s games versus Washington State, Utah Valley, South Carolina Upstate and Santa Clara are all part of the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic. The WSU game took place in Pullman, Wash., and the other three will be played in Santa Clara, Calif., as part of the CBE Classic, which is hosted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.


Series Notes

* The Eagles are 1-4 all-time versus Cal State Fullerton, including a 91-76 loss in Fullerton, Calif., on Dec. 11, 2012. In the most recent meeting in Cheney, Eastern won 110-100 on Nov. 27, 2006. A year earlier, Eastern lost 89-63 to the Titans in an ESPN BracketBusters game. The first meeting came in December 2003.

12/13/03 – L – 70 – 77 - A
12/10/04 – L - 68-70 OT - H
2/18/06 – L - 63-89  -  A

11/27/06 – W - 110-100 - H12/11/11 – L - 76-91 - A

* In last year’s meeting, Eastern’s Cliff Colimon and Collin Chiverton were front and center in an old-fashioned shootout Dec. 11 in Fullerton, Calif. But the Eagles couldn’t match the firepower for Cal State Fullerton and lost to the Titans 91-76 in a non-conference collegiate men’s basketball game at Titan Gym. Chiverton scored 26 points and Colimon had 23, but the Titans made 53 percent (28-of-53) of their shots from the field, including 11-of-20 from the 3-point arc. They led most of the way, and after a 50-41 lead at halftime, never trailed by less than eight in the second half. Eastern, meanwhile, made 43 percent (30-of-70) of its shots, including 11-of-29 shots from the 3-point arc (38 percent). The Titans also enjoyed a huge advantage at the free throw line, making 24-of-32 compared to 5-of-11 for the Eagles, and out-rebounded EWU 40-34. All five Cal State Fullerton starters scored in double figures, led by the 25 of Isiah Umipig and a double-double by Cal transfer Omondi Amoke with 19 points and 12 rebounds.


Records Watch

* Sophomore center Martin Seiferth broke a school record that stood for 25 years with seven blocked shots in a 96-79 loss to Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12. Seiferth, who also had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the game, broke the previous record of six set by Dexter Griffen versus Idaho State on Jan. 2, 1987. Seiferth’s 17 rebounds are the sixth-best recorded performance all-time at Eastern. The sophomore from Berlin, Germany, just missed a spot on Eastern’s all-time leading scorers list, with 30 points scored by 10 different players to rank 39th. One game earlier, teammate Justin Crosgile scored 28 points against Washington State.

* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes has played in 98 games (87 as a starter) as an Eagle, and could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. Forbes has averaged 31.2 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He ranks ninth in school history wit­­­h 102 career steals, and is also fourth in 3-pointers made (150) and attempted (396). He is 34 makes and 103 attempts away from the school record. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 88.1 percent (140-of-159), but he is 37 attempts shy to meet the minimum of two free throw attempts per game. Forbes set a single season school record for free throw percentage (.900, 54-of-60) as a sophomore. He also made 55 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank as the 11th-most in Eastern history (now 13th entering the 2012-13 season).

* Senior guard Kevin Winford has played in 94 career games, and is just 12 from a spot on Eastern’s top 10 all-time list (teammate Jeffrey Forbes has played in 98). He ranks in the top 10 on several Eastern season and career lists for 3-point shooting. On career charts, his 117 makes and his 343 attempts both rank fifth. Winford’s 81.7 percent (67-of-82) accuracy shooting free throws would rank fifth had he met the minimums (he has 82 and would need 188). Winford made 66 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank fifth (now sixth) in single season school history, and his 187 attempts were fourth (now fifth). He owns school records for single game 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (23) when he finished with 39 points – fifth-best in school history – in his sophomore season against New Hope (12/4/10).

* Senior forward Collin Chiverton and his 102 3-pointers rank ninth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 251 attempts are 22 away. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 130 of 169 games for a .769 winning percentage. His junior college and high school teams won 114 of 131 games (87 percent).


Recent Game Summaries

* Unbeaten Santa Clara used a 21-7 run to end the first half to pull away from Eastern for an 89-74 victory Nov. 23 at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif. The game was part of the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic, which is hosted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Senior Collin Chiverton led the Eagles with 19 points, but EWU couldn’t overcome a 17-9 disadvantage in turnovers. Eastern was also out-shot 51 percent to 42 percent, and the Eagles were just 12-of-21 from the free throw line, compared to 17-of-21 for the Broncos. “Collin did some really good things, and I’m proud of him and all the adversity he’s been going through,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford of the 2011-12 Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year. “That’s a big plus for our team.” Freshman Venky Jois, coming off back-to-back double-doubles, had 11 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots versus the Broncos. Sophomore Martin Seiferth added seven points, six rebounds and a blocked shot.

* A day after letting an 11-point halftime lead slip away in a three-point loss, the Eagles had the same lead in the first half hold up this time as EWU defeated the University of South Carolina Upstate 75-70 Nov. 21 at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Senior Jeffrey Forbes hit a 3-pointer with 18.5 seconds remaining to give the Eagles a five-point lead, and point guard Justin Crosgile hit a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds to play to clinch the win for EWU. The Eagles had made it interesting with six missed free throws down the stretch, enabling USC Upstate to tie the game for the first time in the second half at 67-all. But Eastern did an outstanding job of not allowing the Spartans to get a lead, as the last Spartan advantage came in the early-going by an 8-7 score. After knotting the game, USC Upstate missed its next shots, and a dunk by Justin Seiferth with 2:10 remaining gave EWU the lead for good. Senior Collin Chiverton had a season-high 19 points in 18 minutes before fouling out with 6:20 to play. Freshman Venky Jois had his second-straight double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for the Eagles. One game earlier, in an 86-83 loss to Utah Valley, he finished with 16 points and 11 boards.

* Despite another impressive first-half performance and a late rally, Eastern missed its first 10 shots in the second half and went on to lose to Utah Valley 86-83 Nov. 20 at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif. The Eagles led 43-32 at halftime, but didn’t make a field goal for more than seven minutes to open the second half as the Wolverines went on a 19-3 run to take the lead for good. Eastern made just 38 percent of its shots in the second half, including just one of its first 16 3-pointers after intermission. Eastern got hot late in the game to cut the lead to one, but five free throws and a late Wolverine basket kept the Eagles winless this season. Eastern’s Justin Crosgile missed a desperation 40-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer. Five Eagles scored in double figures, led by the 16 points and 11 rebounds by freshman Venky Jois – his first double-double as an Eagle. The senior trio of Collin Chiverton, Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford  combined for 24 key points in the first half, but had just 10 after intermission. Chiverton and Forbes each finished with 13, and Winford scored eight. Point guard Justin Crosgile chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, but he made just 3-of-17 shots overall and 1-of-11 shots from beyond the arc. Six-foot-10 center Martin Seiferth, the Big Sky Conference leader in blocked shots, came one away from his own school record with six blocks against UVU. He also finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, including 12 points and eight boards after intermission.

* Eastern led 31-16 late in the first half, but a 9-0 run and a 16-3 surge to open the second half helped the Saint Mary’s Gaels roll past the Eagles 85-66 in a non-conference men’s basketball game Nov. 18 in Moraga, Calif. Junior Justin Crosgile led the Eagles with 13 points, making 5-of-13 shots from the field (3-of-8 from the 3-point stripe). Freshman Venky Jois added nine points and five rebounds as 13 Eagles played and 11 scored. Senior Collin Chiverton scored seven early points for the Eagles, but was saddled with foul trouble after that and was limited to 15 total minutes.

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