Eagles Face WSU and Familiar Opposing Coach on Monday on Fox Sports Net

Now 0-1 after Portland loss, Eastern plays back-to-back nights against Washington State and Whitman


Upcoming Schedule

Date - Opponent - Spokane Radio Station - Time/Pacific
Nov. 16 - at Washington State - 1510am - 7:04 p.m. -- TV: FOX SPORTS NET
Nov. 17 - vs. Whitman at Reese Court - 1050am - 7:05 p.m.

Eagles on TV/Radio/Webcasts . . .
All EWU home games will be televised live and/or delayed on SWX in Spokane (SWX Digital 6.2, Cheney Cable 12, Comcast 115, Time Warner 306, Charter 287). Eagle Radio Broadcasts home and away in 2009-10 may be heard live, and stations in Spokane/Cheney that may be used are 1510-AM, 1050-AM or 790-AM. Broadcasts may also be heard via the internet -- road games may be heard free of charge via WWW.TEAMLINE.CC and the audio and video of home games may also be heard via WWW.BIGSKYTV.ORG

It will be just like old times for the Eastern Washington University men's basketball when they make the short trip to Pullman, Wash., to face Washington State University.

Tipoff Monday (Nov. 16) is 7:04 p.m. Pacific time in a game televised live regionally on Fox Sports Net. The EWU radio broadcast may also be heard in the Spokane area on 1510-AM. The following night, Eastern hosts Whitman College in a game that starts at 7:05 p.m. at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern will face Ken Bone for the 10th time, but the first with him as WSU's head coach. Eastern was 5-4 against Bone in his previous four seasons with Big Sky Conference rival Portland State, but he won the last three Eagle-Viking meetings.

Bone's up-tempo teams averaged 72.6 points against the Eagles, including a 92-86 victory in 2007 and an 83-61 victory last season. He takes over a WSU team that finished 17-16 overall and 8-10 in the Pacific 10 Conference last season.

"Their athletic ability will be something that we will have to contend with," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine.

Eastern is coming off a 64-58 loss to Portland on Saturday (Nov. 14), while Washington State defeated Mississippi Valley State 94-66 one night earlier. The Eagles lost by just six points despite making only 32 percent from the field (15-of-47), allowing Portland to make 7-of-13 three-pointers and getting out-rebounded 37-24.

"I liked our shots -- we just didn't make them," said Earlywine. "It's hard to win when you compound getting out-rebounded with giving up 54 percent from the arc and pile on top of that shooting 32 percent. Really, it's surprising that we were in the game with a chance."

The Pilots, in fact, have been picked to finish second in the WCC this season, finishing just four points behind perennial favorite Gonzaga. Portland even received two first-place votes, and T.J. Campbell and Nik Raivio were selected as preseason All-WCC selections. They combined for 31 points against the Eagles, and Luke Sikma had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

 "Our level of physical competitiveness was good," Earlywine said. "Our mental effort wasn't where we need to be when we gave up some of their three-pointers. It was not an abject disaster for a first game. We can build on this and we need to."

The Eagles did force 16 Portland turnovers, leading to 19 Eastern points. Seniors Benny Valentine (20 points) and Brandon Moore (14) scored 34 of the EWU's 58 points.

"We have to eliminate the mistakes we made, but I didn't think we were offensive sensitive," added Earlywine of the opener. "When things go bad on offense you still have to be gritty enough and tough enough to guard your butts off and rebound the ball. For the most part, we showed grit on the defensive end. We have to rebound better and we have to eliminate the technical mistakes that cost us some of the threes we gave up."

Eastern has played WSU just once since the 1998-99 season, with the Eagles falling 68-41 on Nov. 9, 2007, in Pullman in the official EWU coaching debut for Earlywine. The Eagles are 11-51 in the all-time series against Washington State, and 12-67 all-time against the Pacific 10 Conference.

On Tuesday (Dec. 15), in the third game in four days for EWU, Eastern plays NCAA Division III member Whitman College. The Missionaries, who will open their season against the Eagles, were 9-16 overall last season and 5-11 in the Northwest Conference.

Just a few days after that on Nov. 21, Eastern plays at Texas-Arlington. That will be the fourth game in eight days for the Eagles.

Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/ewas-m-baskbl-body.html
Big Sky Conference Basketball -- http://www.bigskyconf.com/sport.asp?path=mbball&tab=mens
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 14, 2009 - Eastern Loses Opener to Portland 64-58
November 8, 2009 - Eastern Pulls Away for 67-58 Exhibition Win
November 4, 2009 - Eagles Face Larger Challenge in Second Exhibition This Sunday
November 1, 2009 - Eagles Roll Past Saint Martin's 98-61
October 23, 2009 - SEASON OUTLOOK


Schedule includes games with Washington State and Gonzaga -- Eastern's 2009-10 schedule is highlighted by non-conference games against Washington State and Gonzaga, as well as the earliest Big Sky Conference start in school history.

Eastern opens its league schedule on the early date of Dec. 5, giving the Eagles two exhibition games and seven non-conference games to prepare for league play. Among those seven games, Eastern hosts Portland on Nov. 14 and Boise State on Nov. 24, and plays road games at Washington State on Nov. 16 and Idaho on Nov. 28.

"I like our non-conference schedule and the fact we're not stuck on the road very long," Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said. "But November is very tough and we have to be ready right from the start."

Eastern plays at Portland State on Dec. 5 before resuming league play on Dec. 31 at home against Sacramento State. The other non-conference games for the Eagles include road games at Nevada (Dec.17), Brigham Young (Dec. 19) and Gonzaga (Dec. 28), as well as an appearance in the four-team Las Vegas Classic at the Orleans Arena on Dec. 22-23.

In addition, Eastern plays both at home (Dec. 12) and on the road (Feb. 1) against Seattle University, a newcomer in NCAA Division I in the 2008-09 season. Seattle defeated the Eagles in overtime last season, but the Eagles were able to edge both Portland (63-58) and Idaho (69-59) before both of those teams finished strong in the West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference, respectively.

"We have our hands full with our non-conference schedule, but that's always the case," Earlywine said. "Now that Portland and Idaho have elevated their programs in the last year, it makes our non-conference schedule that much tougher.

 "Everything we do from now until December 5th will be pointing toward conference play," Earlywine continued. "We want to be peaked and ready for every conference game we play."

The Dec. 5 start to league play represents the earliest Big Sky opener in school history. Last year, the Eagles opened league play on Dec. 6 with a 61-55 home win over Montana State, and the previous season opened on Dec. 22 with a 58-57 home victory over Portland State.

"I've made my feelings pretty well known about playing the first conference game in early December," explained Earlywine. "But we've actually been ready to play that game the last two seasons. I shouldn't be too critical because we've won our opener each of the past two years."

Eastern is hoping its five senior letter winners and talented newcomers will help the Eagles earn their first Big Sky Conference Tournament berth in four seasons when that event takes place on March 6, 9 and 10. However, Earlywine expects several other league teams to feature even more returning starters and experience.

"The league is going to be very, very good," he said. "Top to bottom, it may be as good as it's been in the last 10 years. I told our team after our last game last season that our challenge was to go catch the other teams in the league. Nobody is backing up, so we have to go catch them. Our focus has been on doing what we have to do to improve and not count on other teams to stub their toe."

Earlywine has been in the Big Sky Conference for nearly 10 years now, dating back to 1999 when he became an assistant at Weber State. He knows the January to March grind in the league is difficult, but it's made even more difficult this season with the cost-saving measure of playing most weekend doubleheaders on Friday/Saturday instead of Thursday/Saturday.

"The travel difficulties haven't changed - we still have nine institutions spread over eight states," he said. "You go from sea level to altitude, and one time zone to another. It's tough."


EWU in Exhibitions -- 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 exhibition games:
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 12-67 Versus the Pacific 10 Conference -- The Eagles are 11-51 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 12-67 record all-time against that league.

Eastern has suffered losses to Washington each of the last six seasons, and has a current nine-game losing streak versus the Pac 10. Eastern lost at Washington 83-50 on Dec. 20, 2008, and the year prior, lost to Washington State 68-41 on Nov. 9, 2007, and Washington 82-68 on Nov. 18, 2007.

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 1990 and 1997.

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).

Since Eastern moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, Eastern is 1-11 against Washington State. Here are those games:
12/14/85 - L - Washington State - 71-80 - A
11/27/87 - L - Washington State - 46-68 - #
11/26/88 - L - Washington State - 47-55 - %
12/11/89 - L - Washington State - 42-81 - A
12/10/91 - L - Washington State - 59-80 - H
12/12/92 - L - Washington State - 66-83 - A
11/29/94 - L - Washington State - 59-87 - A
11/26/95 - L - Washington State - 58-90 - A
12/7/96 - L - Washington State - 46-80 - H
12/22/97 - W - Washington State - 83-82 - &
12/5/98 - L - Washington State - 72-91 - H
11/9/07 - L - Washington State - 41-68 - A
#Inland Empire Classic in Spokane, Wash.
%Inland Northwest Classic in Spokane, Wash.
&WSU home game played in Kennewick, Wash.

Eagles versus Whitman -- Eastern is 28-7 all-time against Whitman, with the last meeting a 90-78 victory by the Eagles on Jan. 10, 1995. Before that, the only other meeting since Eastern became a NCAA Division I member in the 1983-84 season came on Dec. 3, 1988, when the Eagles won at home 95-70. Eastern has won the last seven meetings, with the last Whitman victory coming on Jan. 7, 1974, by a 68-62 score.



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