Kevin Winford scores 39 points and breaks his own three-point record as Eagles now take a break for finals before rematch
Sophomore guard Kevin Winford poured in 39 points -- including a record 10 three-pointers -- to lead the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team to an overwhelming 112-41 non-conference men's basketball victory over New Hope Christian College Saturday (Dec. 4) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
En route to the fifth-best scoring night in school history, Winford broke the school record of eight treys he set just a week earlier against Idaho. As a team, the Eagles broke the school record for made three-pointers (18) and three pointers attempted (43), and tied the mark for field goals made in a game with 45. Previous records were 16 three-pointers versus Cascade on Dec. 14, 2007; 38 attempts versus Nevada on Feb. 14, 1991; and 45 field goals made against U.S. International on Feb. 2, 1991.
But most impressive to EWU head coach Kirk Earlywine was his team's 25 assists, including a team-leading seven by Winford. Four Eagles scored in double figures, including double-doubles by Cliff Ederaine (12 points, 17 rebounds) and Tremayne Johnson (15 points, 10 rebounds). Jeffrey Forbes added 23 points, one away from his career high.
"I was really happy with how we shared the ball," Earlywine said. "In a game where the ball was going in and things were coming relatively easy offensively, it becomes easy for guys to look at is as a time to get my own. But we didn't have any of that which made me very happy."
The Deacons, a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, is now 4-1. The Eagles improved to 2-5 for the season, and now take a break for finals. Eastern, which lost at 24th-ranked Gonzaga last Tuesday 86-57 in their third game in seven nights, now play a rematch at San Jose State on Dec. 12. The Spartans knocked off Eastern 67-60 in Cheney a month ago on Nov. 12.
Eastern took a 6-0 lead against New Hope and led from start to finish. The Eagles used runs of 14-0 and 17-0 in the first half to lead at intermission 57-15, then used a 12-0 run to out-score the Deacons 55-26 in the second half. The biggest lead of the night for the Eagles was 73 points with 2:49 left (110-37) on the final trey of the game for Winford. He had 31 points and eight of his three-pointers in the first half alone.
Freshmen Rocky Brown (nine points), Jaylen Henry (six points, eight rebounds) and Geoffrey Allen (two points, four rebounds, three steals) saw significant minutes as four Eagles (Glen Dean, Cliff Colimon, Rashano McRae and Sean Fischer) sat out with injuries.
"The fact that we got our freshmen a lot of minutes on the court tonight is another thing that we can take from this," Earlywine said. "And as beat up as we are right now, they are having to play and so it's good for them to get out there in game action. I made sure that they understood that no matter what the margin was that they were going to be held accountable for every possession on both ends of the floor. I didn't want them taking bad shots, I didn't want them turning the ball over and I didn't want them giving away anything on the defensive end. And there's a mindset that freshmen have to develop that every possession is critical."
Earlywine was also pleased with how his team bounced back after the 29-point loss at GU.
"It was actually good because we looked at the video and sometimes the score isn't indicative of how you played," he explained. "We did not play all that bad in the first half against Gonzaga even though at halftime we were down by 29. We missed eight free throws in a row, we had two layups erased by bigger and better defenders and then (Steven) Gray made a couple of unbelievable threes. So as we looked at the video I think our guys realized that we didn't play as bad as that 29-point halftime deficit would indicate. And so in that regard there were some things that we could take from that game to learn from."