Eastern Plays at UW Before Hosting Northwest
Coming off an improved defensive effort in loss to San Jose State, Eagles will have their hands full against nationally-ranked Huskies
EWU at Washington
Tuesday, Nov. 16 - 7:05 p.m.
Bank of America Arena - Seattle, Wash.
EWU vs. Northwest University
Thursday, Nov. 18 - 7:05 p.m.
Reese Court - Cheney Wash.
TV: (EWU at UW) Regionally on Fox Sports
Radio: (all EWU games) 700 ESPN "The Ticket" and http://www.espnnorthwest.com
Webcasts (All home games and all Big Sky Conference games): http://www.bigskytv.org
Live Stats: (EWU home games): http://web.ewu.edu/groups/athletics/mbasketball/mblivestats/xlive.htm
As encouraging as the defensive effort was for the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team against San Jose State on Friday (Nov. 12), that effort may not go very far in their next game.
Coming off a 67-60 loss to San Jose State in the season opener for both schools, Eastern plays at nationally-ranked Washington on Tuesday (Nov. 16) at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle. The game tips-off at 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live regionally on Fox Sports Net.
“We made some mistakes, but that’s okay as long as we don’t continue to make those mistakes in December, January and February,” said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine of his team’s opener. “We have to get better from this, and that’s what I told the players.”
The Huskies, who were 26-10 overall and 11-7 in the Pacific 10 Conference a year ago, are picked to win the league title this year. In preseason polls, Washington was ranked 18th by Associated Press and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. Gonzaga, Eastern’s opponent on Nov. 30 in Seattle, is 12th in both.
Following that UW game, Eastern hosts Northwest University from Kirkland, Wash., on Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. Pacific time at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The NU Eagles are a member of NAIA Division II and were 17-14 a year ago and 10-8 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference to finish fourth.
The radio broadcast of the all Eastern games game may be heard on 700-AM ESPN “The Ticket” and via the web at www.espnnorthwest.com, with veteran play-by-play broadcaster Dennis Patchin calling the action. All home games and other Big Sky Conference games may also be viewed free of charge at www.bigskytv.org.
Among the many talented athletes the Eagles will have to face Tuesday in Seattle will be 6-foot-9 Matthew Bryan-Amaning (8.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks per game in 2009-10), guard Isaiah Thomas (16.9 points, 3.2 assists), guard Abdul Gaddy (3.9 points, 2.3 assists) and defensive specialist Venoy Overton (8.5 points, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals).
The Huskies crushed McNeese State 118-64 on Nov. 13 in their opener in Seattle. Bryan-Amaning led the way with 28 points and 13 rebounds in the 54-point victory. Thomas scored 17 and Gaddy had 10 in the game, which the Huskies led 61-19 at halftime. Overton chipped in six assists and three steals, and Gaddy added five assists.
“I know they’re good,” said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. “They have Overton, Thomas, Gaddy and Amaning -- the list goes on. They have good players and a good team.”
Preseason injuries have hit the Eagles hard for the second-straight season, but this year it has impacted a specific position even more than the team’s overall depth. The team’s two point guards -- Glen Dean (stress fracture in his foot) and Cliff Colimon (ankle sprain) -- have forced the job onto the shoulders of a trio of Eagles. Dean will be out for nearly two more weeks and Colimon is questionable for UW game.
“My experience with sprained ankles and how he is moving right now is that 50-50 will be optimistic Tuesday night,” said Earlywine following the San Jose State loss.
Guards Kevin Winford and Jeffrey Forbes are the replacements, as well as athletic 6-foot-7 forward Tremayne Johnson. In all three games thus far, Eastern has had to piecemeal together a team from its 15-man roster that has had nine players miss games or practice time already -- eight because of injuries.
“We have the philosophy to coach the guys that are out there, but that’s become pretty hard,” admitted Eastern head Earlywine. “To be perfectly honest, it’s been really hard the last two weeks. In practice we don’t have a point guard running either team.”
The lack of an experienced point guard was particularly noticeable in a 66-60 exhibition loss to Montana State-Billings on Nov. 8 as Eastern had only four assists and made just 15-of-60 shots from the field. The Eagles had 12 assists and made 37 percent from the field against San Jose State, but had 12 of their 17 turnovers in the second half after leading 36-33 at intermission.
Interestingly, it was a former Husky -- 2007-08 UW letter winner Adrian Oliver -- who did the most damage against the Eagles. He scored 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field and 9-of-14 from the free throw line, despite an Eagle effort that held the Spartans to 33 percent shooting from the field. In the team’s first exhibition game -- an 87-82 loss to Seattle Pacific -- the Eagles allowed the Falcons to make 62 percent. Eastern allowed 27 fewer points in its next exhibition against MSU-Billings, holding the Yellowjackets to 43 percent shooting.
“I thought our level of competiveness was significantly improved and what it needed to be,” said Earlywine. “We went from giving up 62 percent in the first exhibition game to 43 in the second exhibition game, then we held San Jose to 33 percent. In general, if you hold an opponent to 33 percent you are going to give yourself a chance to win no matter how poorly you play on offense. That was the case against San Jose. It was obviously a struggle for us on the offensive end of the floor, which I knew it was going to be.”
Eastern went nearly six minutes without scoring against the Spartans, who employed an effective zone versus the Eagles. And without an experienced point guard, the Eagles are prime targets for pressure, such as the full-court press SJSU also used.
“The poor zone offense was to be expected to a degree because we haven’t spent very much time on it yet,” explained Earlywine. “When we did work on it, we had Cliff Colimon in there. When you have to work press offense into zone defense as we did against San Jose State, not having a point guard on the floor increases the level of difficulty.”
Coaches Shows Resume Dec. 6: Eagle Coaches Shows at Northern Quest Casino and Resort will feature head men’s basketball coach Kirk Earlywine and play-by-play announcer Dennis Patchin during the 2010-11 season.
Shows begin at 6 p.m. and take place Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 before taking a break for the holidays. They resume on Jan. 3 and continue through the end of the season.
The show will take place live from Northern Quest in the former broadcast room adjacent to the Q Sports Bar and Restaurant. Fans will be able to order food and beverages and listen to the show from that location, as well as watch Monday Night Football and other sporting events.
The show is aired on 700-AM ESPN “The Ticket” and via the internet at www.espnnorthwest.com.
Northern Quest is located at 100 N. Hayford Road in Airway Heights. From downtown Spokane, take exit 277 off I-90 and follow Highway 2 for 4.4 miles, then turn right on Hayford Road and follow for 1.0 miles. From Cheney, take exit 272 off I-90 and follow WA-902 toward Medical Lake for just 0.3 miles. Take a right on Geiger Blvd., followed by a quick left on Hayford Road and follow for 4.4 miles.
Note: Because of construction on Hayford Road that should be concluded soon, there is a detour via McFarlane Road to Garfield Road (west of Hayford) to Highway 2. An alternate route from Cheney prior to the conclusion of construction is to take the Medical Lake-Four Lakes road (off Highway 904 in Four Lakes) to Craig Road, and then take a right on Highway 2, followed by a left on Hayford Road.
Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Big Sky Conference Basketball -- http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=basketball&path=mbball
NCAA Basketball -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-baskbl/ncaa-m-baskbl-body.html
ESPN College Scoreboard -- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/scoreboard
Rodney Stuckey NBA Page -- http://www.nba.com/playerfile/rodney_stuckey/index.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://WWW.GOEAGS.COM
Recent EWU Men’s Basketball Headlines . . .
November 12, 2010 - Despite Strong Defensive Effort, Eagles Begin Season With 67-60 Loss
November 8, 2010 - Eastern Falls to Montana State-Billings 66-60
November 5, 2010 - Eagles Should Have More Firepower Available Monday
November 2, 2010 - Shorthanded Eagles Fall to Seattle Pacific 87-82
October 29, 2010 - SEASON OUTLOOK: Returning Guards Key to Eastern’s Big Sky Hopes
For The Second-Straight Season, Eagles Spend First Month Dealing with Injuries: Eastern got off to a rocky start on the injury front when practices started in mid-October for the 2010-11 season. Just a few days into practice, Eastern lost 2009-10 Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year Glen Dean due to a stress fracture in his foot. Dean averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 assists a year ago, and has a redshirt year available if needed. After further evaluation on Nov. 9, Earlywine said Dean will be out two more weeks but then should be 100 percent for the rest of the season.
Early practices sidelined true freshman Geoffrey Allen, and he was feared lost for the season with what was thought to be a broken hand. But once swelling and bruising subsided, the injury wasn’t as severe as first thought and he returned to practice on Nov. 10. He made his debut against San Jose, finishing with three points, three rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes of action. The son of former UCLA and NBA standout Lucius Allen, he is from Los Angeles, Calif., and is a 2010 graduate of Pacific Hills High School
Also, freshman Carter Warnock missed two weeks with a severe case of pink eye, and did not play in EWU’s exhibition opener versus Seattle Pacific. Point guard Cliff Colimon missed the second exhibition with a sprained ankle suffered on Nov. 7, and did not play in the season opener against San Jose. Freshman walk-on redshirt Sean Fischer has a cartilage tear in his shoulder and has yet to make his first appearance in an Eagle uniform.
Actually, the rash of injuries started the week prior to practices starting when men’s basketball athletic trainer Donald Sims suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, then assistant coach Jamie Matthews spent time in the hospital with a staph infection near his eye.
Besides injuries in early practices to Dean and Allen, returnee Laron Griffin and Colimon both suffered minor injuries within seconds of each other during the same drill. Griffin took an elbow to his head and Colimon was poked in the eye. Newcomer Rashano McRae suffered from back spasms in the opening practices.
Also, newcomer Willie Hankins has yet to be cleared to practice by the NCAA Clearinghouse, thinning further Earlywine’s roster. At one point after the first weekend of practices, Earlywine remarked, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
A year ago, the Eagles spent the first month of the season dealing with injuries to five Eagles -- Gary Gibson (knees), Brandon Moore (foot and ankle), Abebe Demissie (hamstring), Kevin Winford (concussion) and Matthew Brunell (ankle). The missed time impacted Eastern not only in games, but in practice.
“We’ve already had a season’s worth of bad luck,” said Earlywine a year ago before Eastern’s league opener on Dec. 5. “Hopefully we’re close to being through it and we don’t have any more. It’s been hard, and it’s been hard because you can’t practice effectively.”
Brunell and Winford suffered their injuries in the second game of the season, and Moore missed the Walla Walla game and parts of another with a sprained ankle. Moore also missed much of the preseason because of a foot injury that required minor surgery. Brunell missed five full games and parts of two others; Gibson missed six games; and Winford missed two.
Brunell continued to be bothered by his injury, and then missed Eastern’s game against Sacramento State with an injury to his other ankle. Another sprained ankle, this time by starter Alden Gibbs, kept him out of four games from Jan. 15 to Jan. 23.
Eagles Receiving High Marks Academically: Eastern has a high-achieving team academically, with a team grade point average of over 3.0 in each term a year ago. Glen Dean, Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford were all selected to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic Team and all three have current GPAs of 3.23 and above. They are joined by several other recruits with impressive academic credentials, including a 4.0 high school GPA by Carter Warnock and 3.5 and above accumulative GPAs for Jaylen Henry and Geoffrey Allen. Cliff Ederaine expects to major in pre-med in hopes of becoming a doctor.
“That’s an overlying theme with this year’s incoming class of high school players and several others,” said head coach Kirk Earlywine. “Three of our incoming freshmen are 3.5 students or higher, they come from good families and they are high-character kids. We want student-athletes who want to get a degree and are also good basketball players, and many of our student-athletes fall into those categories.”
Eagles May Be The Least Experienced Team in NCAA Division I: Eastern has no seniors on its 2010-11 roster, and features a quartet of returning letter winners from last year's team that finished 9-21 overall and 5-11 in the Big Sky Conference. In preliminary results from a recent survey of NCAA Division I teams, no other school has less NCAA Division I experience than the Eagles, whose four returnees have lettered one year each.
Pair of Eagles Return to Puget Sound: Eagles Glen Dean and Jeffrey Forbes will return to the Puget Sound area when Eastern plays at Washington on Nov. 16 and again on Jan. 6 when the Eagles play at Seattle.
Dean is a 2008 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, and Forbes is a 2009 graduate of Federal Way (Wash.) High School. Forbes helped Federal Way win the WIAA State 4A Championship in 2009.
Weber State the Team to Beat in League Race: The Eagles have been picked to finish sixth in the Big Sky Conference in both the media and coaches polls. Weber State, which has gone 28-4 in the BSC over the last two seasons and is the two-time defending league champion, is picked first in both polls.
“Weber State had kind of been the dominant team in the league the last three or four years, and the question we asked ourselves is ‘what do we have to do to catch them and beat them?’” said Earlywine. “We can’t sit back and hope they digress -- we have to go catch them.”
“What we have to understand as a program is that the league is not going to back up -- we are going to have to catch them. In order to do that, the players in the program have to improve themselves -- not only in their skill level but also in their conditioning and strength. On top of that, we have to replace our five seniors with five players who are ultimately better. That’s not a knock against those seniors, but that’s just what we have to do to get better. You improve the players in your program and you go get better players to replace those who leave. That’s what we are trying to do.”
Eagles Versus Ranked Teams: Eastern lost 94-52 to Gonzaga on Dec. 28, 2009, in EWU’s most recent game against a nationally-ranked foe. The Bulldogs were ranked 22nd by ESPN/USA Today, but were just out of the top 25 at No. 26 by Associated Press. The 2008-09 season was the first time since 2002-03 that Eastern did not play a nationally-ranked team. The Eagles played 12 such games in the five seasons before that.
Eastern is 1-15 versus nationally-ranked teams -- including
three games in the 2004-05 season alone as well as three the year
before. Seven of the games came under former head coach Mike Burns
and five others came under Ray Giacoletti from 2000-2004.
12/28/09 vs. #22 (ESPN/USA Today) Gonzaga - L, 52-94
12/5/07 vs. #3 Kansas - L, 47-85
11/9/07 vs. #10 Washington State - L, 41-68
12/15/06 vs. #22 Oregon - L, 74-100
11/24/06 vs. #16 Washington - L, 83-90
12/19/05 vs. #8 Gonzaga - L, 65-75
12/16/05 vs. #11 Washington - L, 74-91
12/28/04 vs. #14 Arizona - L, 45-79
12/21/04 vs. #13 Gonzaga - L, 70-83
12/5/04 vs. #14 Washington - L, 56-89
3/19/04 vs. #3 Oklahoma State - L, 56-75
12/31/03 vs. #16 Gonzaga - L, 49-70
11/21/03 vs. #14 Oklahoma - L, 59-69
11/15/01 vs. #10 St. Joseph's - W, 68-67
11/25/00 vs. #4 Michigan State - L, 61-83
1/21/85 vs. #10 DePaul - L, 50-72
Big Crowds: The Eagles have played in excess of 16,000 fans on three occasions, including the largest crowd EWU has ever played against -- 16,840 -- on March 19, 2004, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., in the NCAA Tournament. Eastern played in front of 16,300 fans on Dec. 12, 2007, when Eastern lost to Kansas at legendary Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
In the 2006 season, the Eagles played in front of 10,000 at Washington after the previous two games there drew 9,876 (2005) and 9,418 (2004). Three of the 10,000+ crowds came in the 2003-04 season and three more the following year. Several other games have been played in the first game of pre-season tournaments that have drawn at least that many fans, but the Eagles haven't faced the host team.
Here is a list of those crowds:
16,840 - 3/19/04 vs. Oklahoma State - L, 56-75
16,374 - 11/15/02 vs. Wisconsin - L, 55-81
16,300 - 12/5/07 vs. Kansas - L, 47-85
14,759 - 11/25/00 vs. Michigan State - L, 61-83
14,535 - 12/28/04 vs. Arizona - L, 45-79
14,422 - 11/14/08 vs. Illinois - L, 50-66
12,533 - 11/24/01 vs. Minnesota - L, 68-86
12,299 - 12/31/03 vs. Gonzaga - L, 49-70
12,016 - 11/12/06 vs. New Mexico - L, 57-92
12,000 - 12/21/04 vs. Gonzaga - L, 70-83
11,977 - 11/26/08 vs. Minnesota - L, 67-88
11,879 - 12/19/05 vs. Gonzaga - L, 65-75
11,268 - 11/21/03 vs. Oklahoma - L, 59-69
11,031 - 12/5/03 vs. Iowa - L, 54-70
11,000 - 12/22/02 vs. Gonzaga - L, 64-67
10,432 - 12/28/01 vs. Indiana - L, 60-87
10,216 - 11/20/04 vs. Wichita State - L, 62-80
10,215 - 11/9/06 vs. Washington State - L, 41-68
10,210 - 3/12/03 vs. Weber State - L, 57-60
10,000 - 11/24/06 vs. Washington - L, 83-90
EWU in Exhibitions: Eastern’s exhibition games in 2010 were challenging, and the Eagles came away winless as they try to piecemeal together a team from its 15-man roster that has had nine players miss games or practice time already -- eight because of injuries.
Playing two very talented NCAA Division II teams from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in its two exhibitions, Eastern fell 87-82 to Seattle Pacific on Nov. 2 and 66-60 to Montana State-Billings six days later. Seattle Pacific went on to defeat Nevada 84-81 in another exhibition game, while MSUB fell at Idaho State 92-79 on Nov. 2.
Until falling 58-56 to Carroll College on Nov. 1, 2008, Eastern
had won its last 12 exhibition games, which are contests that do
not count in EWU’s season record or statistics. Before that
setback, EWU’s last exhibition loss came on Nov. 13, 1999, to
the Northwest Basketball Camp (NBC) Thunder. In that 73-71 loss,
former Pepperdine player Shann Ferch made a three-point play with
19 seconds to lift NBC to the win. Here is a list of recent
11/8/10 - Montana State-Billings - L, 60-66
11/2/10 - Seattle Pacific - L, 82-87
11/8/09 - Montana State-Billings - W, 67-58
11/1/09 - Saint Martin’s - W, 98-61
11/8/08 - Puget Sound - W, 90-66
11/1/08 - Carroll - L, 56-58
11/3/07 - Pacific - W, 91-49
11/4/06 - Northwest Nazarene - W, 98-55
11/13/05 - UC-San Diego - W, 75-44
11/13/04 - Central Washington - W, 79-63
11/12/03 - Ukraine Touring Team - W, 83-55
11/7/03 - Northwest Sports - W, 100-79
11/7/02 - Northwest Basketball Camp (NBC) Thunder - W, 99-72
11/1/02 - Northwest Sports - W, 117-73
11/2/01 - NBC Thunder - W, 108-106
10/10/01 - Alumni - W, 94-85
11/14/00 - SON Blue Angels - W, 90-78
11/4/00 - NBC Thunder - W, 72-63
11/13/99 - NBC Thunder - L, 71-73
11/5/99 - The Hoop USA - W, 106-64
Eastern 12-68 Versus the Pacific 10 Conference; 1-10 Versus Huskies: Following a 67-61 loss at Washington State on Nov. 16, 2009, the Eagles are now 11-52 in the all-time series against Washington State, to go along with a 1-10 record all-time against Washington. Eastern is 0-6 against other members of the Pacific 10 Conference, giving the Eagles a 12-68 record all-time against that league. Eastern has lost the last six meetings to Washington, and has a current 10-game losing streak versus the Pac 10.
Eastern’s win at Washington in the 2002-03 season snapped a five-game losing streak versus Pacific 10 Conference opponents dating back to Eastern’s 83-82 overtime win versus Washington State on Dec. 22, 1997, in Kennewick, Wash. That victory over WSU was Eastern’s first-ever victory over a Pacific 8 or Pacific 10 Conference opponent since the inception of the conference in 1968. It was also Eastern’s first win over Washington State since Dec. 1, 1952, when the Eagles pulled out a 72-71 overtime win in Pullman. The Cougars had led the all-time series 49-10 and had won 17-straight games over the Eagles prior to that EWU victory.
Eastern’s lone victory over the Huskies was 62-58 in December 2002. Washington won the previous four meetings which all took place between December 1989 and December 1996.
Other recent meetings against the Pac 10 have yielded losses to Oregon (100-74 on Dec. 15, 2006), Arizona (79-45 on Dec. 28, 2004), California (56-27 on Nov. 16, 2001 and 94-63 on Nov. 25, 1998), Oregon State (58-50 on Dec. 19, 2000 and 78-62 on Dec. 15, 1999) and Washington State (91-72 on Dec. 5, 1998).
Here is a list of the previous meetings against Washington:
12/13/89 - L - 58-74 - A
11/25/94 - L - 48-64 - A
11/28/95 - L - 55-74 - H
12/29/96 - L - 54-81 - A
12/14/02 - W - 62-58 - A
11/29/03 - L - 91-104 - A
12/05/04 - L - 56-89 - A
12/16/05 - L - 74-91 - A
11/24/06 - L - 83-90 - A
11/18/07 - L - 68-82 - A
12/20/08 - L - 50-83 - A
Previous Meeting . . . Washington 83, Eastern Washington 50 -- An eight minute stretch told the story as Eastern Washington University was out-scored 21-3 in the first half by Washington as the Huskies defeated the Eagles 83-50 in a non-conference men’s basketball game Dec. 20, 2008, at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash.
Eastern had just one field goal during that 8:22 stretch to turn a 15-all tie into a 36-18 advantage for the Huskies. Washington led at halftime by 42-22, and by no fewer than 14 in the second half to improve to 7-3 on the season.
“There wasn’t anything different that happened out there -- we just started to wear down,” said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine of Washington’s first-half run. “They had more horses -- they had thoroughbreds and for the last six or seven minutes we looked like Clydesdales. They had bigger and better athletes at every spot than we did and eventually it showed.”
The Eagles had another stretch of 5:03 without a point in the second half as UW led by as many as 37. Eastern junior college transfer Chris Busch, in just his third game since becoming eligible, scored 13 points to lead the Eagles against Washington. He was the only EWU player in double figures, with Benny Valentine adding seven, all in the second half.
Eastern made only 36 percent of its shots from the field, but finished with a season-high 22 turnovers that UW turned into 25 points. Washington, which had 13 steals and eight blocked shots, made 54 percent of its shots. The Huskies also made 21-of-35 free throws compared to just 1-of-6 for the Eagles.
Eastern missed 13 of its last 17 shots of the first half against the Huskies, who made 10 of their last 16. Washington had eight steals, six blocked shots and forced 13 turnovers in the first half. True freshman Isaiah Thomas had 12 of Washington’s points in the first half as he single-handedly out-scored EWU’s starting five.
Jon Brockman finished with 17 points and five rebounds for the Huskies after getting 26 points and eight rebounds in the previous year’s meeting against EWU. Thomas and Justin Dentmon each added 13.
EWU vs. Northwest Series History: The Eastern
Eagles are 4-0 all-time against Northwest -- all at Reese Court in
Cheney -- and have out-scored the other Eagles by an average score
of 94-60. Eastern played Northwest for the first time in November
1993, and hasn’t played it since the 2003-04 season when
Eastern went on to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
11/27/93 - W - 101-68 - H
12/11/99 - W - 93-56 - H
11/19/01 - W - 103-71 - H
12/2/03 - W - 79-46 - H
Previous Meeting . . . Eastern Washington 79, Northwest College 46: Cutting its opponent's offensive output in half in the span of just three days, Eastern Washington jumped out to a 33-6 lead and rolled past Northwest College 79-46 in a non-conference men's basketball game Dec. 2, 2003, at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
Senior Alvin Snow led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists. Less than a week earlier, Eastern gave up more than twice that many points in losing to Washington 104-91 in Seattle.
“What I was proud about was our guys buying in to trying to get back to the basics and fundamentals of how we want to play defense," Eagle head coach Ray Giacoletti said. "We talked about it for the last two days. Obviously when you give up 104 points you need to get back to the defensive side. Our seniors really bought into that, and they really helped the rest of our guys to try to stay focused and sustain things."
True freshman Matt Nelson chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds for Eastern, and redshirt freshman Paul Butorac scored 10 with eight boards. Senior Brendon Merritt added eight points and a game-high five assists.
Snow hit 9-of-13 shots from the field as the Eagles finished the game making 53.2 percent from the field compared to 34.0 percent shooting for Northwest College. Eastern out-rebounded the other Eagles 42-24, with Khary Nicholas adding six boards.
“I was really proud of Khary Nicholas," Giacoletti said. "Khary’s a guy who busts his tail every day in practice, then goes out in seven minutes and gets six rebounds.”
Eagles Versus Broncos -- Trying to snap a current four-game losing streak, the Eagles are 6-30 against Boise State, with the last meeting coming last Nov. 24 in an 82-69 loss in Cheney. In the 2005-06 season, EWU lost 76-72 despite 34 points and eight rebounds by EWU’s Rodney Stuckey.
Below are the meetings since EWU became a member of NCAA
Division I in the 1983-84 season. The Eagles joined BSU as a member
of the Big Sky in the 1987-88 season, and the Broncos departed the
league following the 1995-96 season.
1/7/84 - L - 69-92 - A
1/19/84 - L - 64-56 - H
12/1/84 - L - 49-54 - H
1/5/85 - L - 57-68 - A
11/27/85 - W - 66-60 - H
1/4/86 - L - 56-68 - A
12/31/86 - L - 53-71 - H
2/11/87 - L - 45-70 - A
2/13/88 - L - 62-89 - H
2/25/88 - L - 52-92 - A
1/21/89 - L - 52-72 - A
3/4/89 - L - 63-70 - H
1/6/90 - W - 87-55 - H
2/1/90 - L - 59-69 - A
1/12/91 - L - 69-80 - A
1/25/91 - L - 72-76 - H
2/1/92 - L - 54-60 - A
3/5/92 - L - 59-73 - H
2/5/93 - L - 66-76 - H
3/6/93 - L - 81-85 - A
2/4/94 - L - 51-67 - A
3/6/94 - L - 65-83 - H
1/13/95 - L - 56-76 - H
2/11/95 - W - 72-66 - A
1/12/96 - L - 49-73 - A
2/10/96 - L - 65-70 OT - H
11/29/01 - W - 47-42 - H
12/18/02 - W - 65-59 - A
12/15/04 - L - 67-78 - A
12/29/05 - L - 72-76 - A
12/29/08 - L - 48-57 - A
11/24/09 - L - 69-82 - H
Last Season . . . Eastern Falls at Home to Boise State 82-69 -- Boise State jumped out to a 10-0 lead and went on to defeat Eastern Washington 82-69 on Nov. 24, 2009, at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., in the fifth game in 11 days for the Eagles.
Senior center Brandon Moore led the Eagles with 18 points and nine rebounds, but his 6-foot-9 counterpart from Boise State had an even bigger night. Boise State’s Ike Okoye had 21 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks, three assists and two steals.
Eastern was out-shot 59 percent to 26 percent in the first half. The Broncos had 16 fast-break points against the Eagles, but eight of those came during BSU’s 10-0 start. Boise State eventually led by 14 at halftime, 44-30.
With Matthew Brunell (ankle) and Abebe Demissie (hamstring) sidelined with injuries, Eastern used just eight players for the third-straight game.
“The No. 1 key to the game for us was conversion defense,” explained Eagle head coach Kirk Earlywine. “There were a variety of factors -- it was our fifth game in 11 days, and because we’re shorthanded, we couldn’t work on conversion defense live in practice and couldn’t go full speed. I can start making a list, but every team can.
“But you still have to play, and we didn’t do it in the first five minutes of the game. The first five minutes of the game was the game.”
Eastern cut the lead to one in the second half, but eight-straight Bronco points helped put the lead out of reach as they equaled their biggest lead of 14 twice.
Benny Valentine added 16 points and three assists for the Eagles, but he made just 5-of-15 shots from the field, including 3-of-10 from the three-point stripe. Fellow guard Glen Dean added 12 points, but he was just 3-of-14 from the field.
The Eagles made 34 percent of their shots, including only 6-of-20 treys for 30 percent. The Broncos made 53 percent of their shots and out-rebounded Eastern 45-36.