December 9, 2010

Nearing Full Health Again, Eagles at San Jose State

Glen Dean cleared to practice and joins pair of Eagles recovered and ready for rematch with Spartans on Sunday

Complete Release in .PDF Format

Upcoming Games

EWU at San Jose State
Sunday, Dec. 12 - 1 p.m.
The Event Center - San Jose, Calif. 

EWU vs. Seattle
Wednesday, Dec. 15 - 5:35 p.m.
Reese Court - Cheney Wash.
(EWU's women's game vs. UC-Irvine follows) 

Coverage

TV: (Seattle) SWX (SWX Digital 6.2 in Spokane, 25.3 in the Tri-Cities & 23.3 in the Yakima area; Comcast 115; Time Warner 306; Charter 287).
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 


Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine is holding his breath.

Returning starting point guard Glen Dean, out for two months with a stress fracture in his foot, has finally been cleared to practice with the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team. That, plus the return of a pair of players recently out with injuries, gives the Eagles some needed momentum heading into a Sunday (Dec. 12) rematch with San Jose State.

The Spartans, who are currently 5-2 heading into a Friday home game with Santa Clara, defeated the Eagles 67-60 in Cheney back on Nov. 12. The rematch will be played at The Event Center in San Jose, Calif., beginning at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Eastern, currently 2-5, is looking for its first NCAA Division I victory of the season.

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.

Following Sunday's game, Eastern returns home to face Seattle (currently 3-8 heading into a game Dec. 11 versus Idaho) next Wednesday (Dec. 15) in the first half of an Eagle basketball doubleheader. The EWU-SU game is 5:35 p.m., followed by Eastern's women's game versus UC-Irvine at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Dean was the Freshman of the Year in the Big Sky Conference last season when he averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. Because he's missed two months already, Earlywine says his return will be slow and gradual.

"The bone is his foot has healed sufficiently to resume practicing on kind of a limited basis," he explained. "So it's going to be a gradual process of working him back into full-speed practices and then the games."

Plus, Eastern will welcome back this week point guard Cliff Colimon, who has missed the past two games and four total games with a sprained ankle. Plus, forward Rashano McRae has missed the last three games and valuable practice time with a concussion.

"While he's not completely 100 percent, his ankle is significantly better after holding him out for two weeks," said Earlywine of Colimon, who is averaging 12.0 points and 2.3 assists per game in the three games he's played.

McRae was coming off his best outing of the year when he suffered his concussion, and had missed valuable practice time early in the year with back spasms The 6-foot-7 junior college transfer had three points, five rebounds and four assists on Nov. 24 at Boise State.

"Rashano was playing much, much better at the time of his concussion," explained Earlywine. "But the bad thing is that not only couldn't he play in games or practice, he wasn't even allowed to ride a bike or use the stair master. He's done nothing, and because of his back spasms early in the year, conditioning was already a factor with him early in the year. Hopefully these two weeks didn't hurt him too bad."

Despite missing valuable practice time, Earlywine made certain the past two weeks weren't a total loss for Dean, who is a 2008 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Wash.

"Sometimes it's good when players have to step back and take a look at things from the bench," explained Earlywine. "It was very noticeable that Glen sat very close to me during games so he could hear the decision-making process and what happens during games. As a coach on the floor, hopefully that will help him in the long run."

Coupled with Willie Hankins getting cleared by the NCAA to practice with the team -- but not yet play in games -- Earlywine was overjoyed to have 15 players practicing on Thursday (Dec. 9) for the first time the entire season.

 "We should be able to have better practices leading up to this game than what we had the first time we met," he said. "Having a point guard on the floor will help us eliminate some of those 12 turnovers we had in the second half against them. Plus, by having all of our players back will enable us to get back to playing man-to-man defense, which we prefer."

"We have no way of knowing what is ultimately going to happen with Glen's foot, but he has been cleared to give it a go," summed up Earlywine. "But you never know. Any of our guys can go down with an injury at any time -- we've found that out already. But it is good that Glen will be back on the floor."

 

The Rematch: In the earlier meeting with San Jose State, a 10-0 run and 34 points by Adrian Oliver helped San Jose pull-out a 67-60 victory over the Eagles Nov. 12 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., in the official opener for both teams. Eastern held the Spartans to 33 percent shooting in the game -- including only 30 percent in the first half -- but went 5:57 without scoring to turn a two-point advantage into an eight point deficit that EWU could not overcome. Oliver made 12-of-23 shots from the field, and also muscled his way to the free throw line 14 times where he made nine. He also had five rebounds and a pair of assists, but no other Spartan scored in double figures. Eastern has 12 second-half turnovers as it played the first of what is now up to four games without both EWU point guards -- Cliff Colimon and Glen Dean.

"I thought there two things that decided that game," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. "We played the game without Cliff or Glen, and we had 12 turnovers in the second half -- that was huge. And we fouled too much and put them on the line 37 times. That was a little bit of a problem for us early in the year, but not fouling has been a big point of emphasis in practice and we're doing better with that as of late. We are keeping our hands off people and learning how not to get tangled up with players. Oliver is fifth-year senior, so he is pretty crafty. He knows how to get himself to the free throw line and we have to do a better job of keeping him from getting there."

"We will have at least one point guard on the floor this time when we play," he added. 

  

The Point-Less Eagles: The Eagles played four of its seven games thus far without the availability of both point guards -- Glen Dean and Cliff Colimon.

Colimon had injured the ankle earlier in the year and missed EWU's opener against San Jose State, then played three games before injuring it again in practice two days after EWU lost at Boise State on Nov. 24. Dean has a stress fracture in his foot and has yet to play after earning Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year accolades in the 2009-10 season when he averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 assists per game.

"The only analogy I can think of is trying to play a football without a quarterback," said Earlywine. "If all your quarterbacks get hurt and you have to all of the sudden throw another player from another position in there, he has to be able to recognize coverages, audible, change plays, call the pass protection and those types of things. Chances are it's going to be a disaster."

Eastern has averaged 17.9 turnovers per game thus far, including eight in the first half against Idaho in which the Eagles fell behind at intermission 28-22. 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 in a 67-60 loss against San Jose State, but had 12 of their 17 turnovers in the second half after leading 36-33 at intermission.

Colimon, a transfer from Eastern Utah Junior College, started and played Eastern's next three games until the loss to Idaho. He is averaging 12.0 points and 2.1 assists in three games thus far in an average of 20.0 minutes per game. Because of the absence of a point guard for the most part this season, guard Jeffrey Forbes is averaging 35.1 minutes per game. He and guard Kevin Winford (29.3 minutes per game) played all 40 minutes against Idaho, and Forbes played all 40 versus Gonzaga on Nov. 30.

 

Good Timing of Bad Situation: Eastern's injuries came at an ideal time, with 11 days between NCAA Division I games. Eastern lost to Gonzaga 86-57 on Nov. 30, and doesn't play another DI opponent until San Jose State on Dec. 12. In between, Eastern defeated New Hope -- a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association -- 112-41 and took four days off from practicing for final exams at Eastern.

"When we made the schedule, we had no way of knowing we were going to have three of our top six or seven guys sitting on the bench when final exams rolled around," Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said. "Having them sidelined with injuries came at a perfect time for us. In essence, we took four days completely off while our players took care of their school work, and that certainly helped us from a health perspective."

 

Coaches Shows Resume in January: 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 will take place in January after taking a break for the holidays. 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.

Links:
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 . . .
December 4, 2010 - Eastern Romps Past New Hope 112-41 on Record-Breaking Night
November 30, 2010 - Three-Pointers Bury Eagles as Gonzaga Cruises to 86-57 Win
November 27, 2010 - Winford Sets School Record with Eight Treys in Loss
November 24, 2010 - Eagles Drop Road Game in Boise, 83-54
November 18, 2010 - Fast Start Helps Eastern Win 96-87|
November 16, 2010 - Promising Start for Naught as Eagles Fall to Huskies 98-72
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

  

SEASON NOTES

Winford Breaks Own Three-Point Record: Sophomore guard Kevin Winford poured in 39 points -- including a record 10 three-pointers -- in Eastern's overwhelming 112-41 non-conference victory over New Hope Christian College Dec. 4. 

En route to the fifth-best scoring night in school history, Winford broke the school record of nine treys he set just a week earlier against Idaho on Nov. 27. 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.

Winford's 23 three-point attempts were also a Big Sky Conference record, breaking the previous mark of 17 set by Nevada's Kevin Franklin against Oregon on Dec. 16, 1989. His makes were third-most, with Portland State's Brian Towne owning the record with 12 in a 1998 game against Idaho State. As a team, Eastern was two made three-pointers from the Big Sky record of 20, but its 43 attempts were a record. The previous league mark of 41 was set by Weber State against Utah State in the 1993-94 season.

Against Idaho just seven days earlier, Winford finished with what was then a career-high with 28 points as he made 8-of-16 treys, breaking the record for attempts as well. Winford, a 2008 graduate of Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, broke the previous record of seven three-pointers set on 11 different occasions by five different Eagles. The latest was Marc Axton versus Gonzaga on Dec. 21, 2004, and the first was Greg Gaulding versus New Mexico on Feb. 1, 1987. Shannon Taylor had five of the performances during his two-year career from 1998-99.

Winford's previous career high for points was 20 set twice last season as a redshirt freshman. For the season, Winford is averaging 15.3 points per game and has made 26-of-59 three-pointers (44.1 percent) and 39-of-86 shots overall (45.3 percent). As a freshman he averaged 6.9 points and made 34-of-104 treys (32.7 percent) and 69-of-182 total field goals (37.9 percent).

 

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 Freshman 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. He has yet to play, but was cleared to practice this week.

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 (who is now redshirting) 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. He hurt it again in a practice and missed three games from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4. 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 and has missed practice time and one exhibition, then a concussion forced him to miss the same three games Colimon missed from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4.

Also, newcomer Willie Hankins was not cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to practice until Dec. 9 and is still unable to play in games, further 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 returned to the Puget Sound area when Eastern played at Washington on Nov. 16 and will return 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 to Washington 98-72 on Nov. 16 in EWU's most recent game against a nationally-ranked team. Washington was ranked 17th by Associated Press and 15th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

Last year, the Eagles fell 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 1-17 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.
11/30/10 vs. #24 (ESPN/USA Today) Gonzaga - L, 57-86
11/16/10 vs. #17 Washington - L, 72-98
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

  

SERIES HISTORY

EWU vs. San Jose State Series History: Eastern is 1-3 all-time against San Jose State, including a 67-60 Spartan win in Cheney on Nov. 12. The lone Eastern win in the series was 71-62 victory in their last meeting prior to this season on Dec. 2, 2000. Eastern outscored the Spartans 28-9 to start the second half and open a 15-point lead. The Eagles dropped their first two meetings against the Spartans -- both played in San Jose. The Eagles lost 93-75 in San Jose on Dec. 21, 1998, and fell there 67-47 10 years later. Here is the list of the previous meetings:
12/21/88 - L - 75-93 - A
12/19/98 - L - 47-63 - A
12/2/00 - W - 71-62 - H
11/12/10 - L - 60-67 - H

  

Earlier This Season -- Despite Strong Defensive Effort, Eagles Begin Season With 67-60 Loss to San Jose State: What the Eastern Washington University men's basketball did against San Jose State in the first 30 minutes, the Spartans did better in a six-minute stretch of the second half.

A 10-0 run and 34 points by  Adrian Oliver helped San Jose pull-out a 67-60 victory over the Eagles Nov. 12 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., in the official opener for both teams. Eastern held the Spartans to 33 percent shooting in the game -- including only 30 percent in the first half -- but went 5:57 without scoring to turn a two-point advantage into an eight point deficit that EWU could not overcome.

Oliver made 12-of-23 shots from the field, and also muscled his way to the free throw line 14 times where he made nine. He also had five rebounds and a pair of assists, but no other Spartan scored in double figures.

"I loved the competitiveness on the defensive end of the floor," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. "I didn't think we were competitive with intelligence at times in terms of putting Oliver on the free throw line. We got tangled up with him, and when that happens, they are going to call a foul on the defense. I was encouraged by our level of competitiveness, but now we have to compete and be smarter."

The Eagles played Friday's game without a true point guard, as 2009-10 Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year Glen Dean (stress fracture in his foot) is still nearly two weeks away from returning. And newcomer Cliff Colimon (ankle sprain) missed his second-straight game.

The result was 12 second-half turnovers by the Eagles, which compounded their 32 percent shooting from the field after intermission. A San Jose State zone defense didn't help matters as Eastern took a 50-48 lead with 11:07 left, but didn't score again until the 5:10 mark after the Spartans took a 58-50 advantage.

The closest Eastern came the rest of the way was five. Returning starters Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford -- who did the bulk of the ball-handling in the absence of Dean and Colimon -- didn't have a turnover in the first half. But they combined for five after intermission.

"Winford and Forbes are both playing more minutes than they normally would, so maybe fatigue is responsible," Earlywine said. "I have higher expectations of those two players than how they played in the second half tonight, in terms of taking care of the ball, at least. I think they are better than that and they will tell you the same thing. I don't think fatigue caused them to turn the ball over."

Forbes had 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Eagles. Eastern was paced by the 21 points and seven rebounds by Tremayne Johnson, but he had six turnovers. Cliff Ederaine chipped in eight points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

Eastern was out-rebounded 42-40. The Eagles scored 36 points to take a three-point lead at halftime, but scored just 24 after that.

"We guarded well enough to win the game, but we didn't rebound well enough and we didn't take care of the ball in the second half," added Earlywine. "In a low possession game, you can't turn the ball over 12 times in a half. Our turnovers in the second half and our poor execution of zone offense were the difference in a game."

 

EWU-Seattle Series History: Eastern leads the all-time series 9-5 after splitting a pair of games with the Redhawks last season -- a 100-97 overtime win in Cheney on Dec. 12, 2009, and a 68-62 loss in Seattle on Feb. 1, 2010. Eastern also suffered a 63-59 overtime loss to the Redhawks on Feb. 24, 2009.

Before that, the last meeting came on Nov. 22, 1985, when Eastern won 83-64 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. That was the lone game played between the two schools since EWU moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season. The first four meetings came in the 1945-46 season, and Eastern won all four as well as a pair the following season. A split followed in 1948-49, and Seattle swept a pair in the 1951-52 season.

Seattle was in NCAA Division I from 1944-1980, with such star players as Elgin Baylor, John O'Brien, Clint Richardson and Frank Oleynick on its rosters. Baylor, in fact, led Seattle to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament where it lost 84-72 to Kentucky. Formerly known as the Chieftains, from 1980-2002 they were affiliated with NAIA and from 2002-2007 were a member of NCAA Division II. Here is a list of the recent meetings:
11/22/85 - W - 83-64 - H
2/24/09 - L - 59-63 (ot) - H
12/12/09 - W - 100-97 (ot) - H
2/1/10 - L - 62-68 - A

 

Last Season in Cheney . . . Eagles Prevail 100-97 in Overtime Versus Seattle -- Senior center Brandon Moore scored four of his career-high 26 points in a key 7-0 run in overtime as Eastern Washington defeated Seattle University 100-97 in a non-conference college men's basketball game Dec. 12, 2009, at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

"I think that's a great win," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. "They have beaten Utah and they have beaten Fresno State -- they are a good basketball team that causes you a lot of problems with their personnel and their style of play. That's a heckuva win for us."

The game featured 12 lead changes and seven ties, and the final time the game was knotted was at 87-all with 3:01 to play in overtime. But EWU's Glen Dean hit a driving layin, followed by a pair of baskets by Moore. Dean closed the 7-0 run with a free throw to give EWU a 94-87 advantage with 1:09 to play.

Eastern, which had forced the overtime with a basket with 10 seconds to play in regulation by Mark Dunn, closed the scoring in overtime with a pair of free throws by Kevin Winford with seven seconds left. Seattle's Taylor Olson missed a contested three-pointer at the buzzer that could have knotted the game and sent it into a second overtime.

Moore had the ninth double-double of his career as he also finished with 11 rebounds and a career-high four assists. Dunn also had a double-double -- the first of his career -- with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He also had three assists as the Eagles finished with 29 (only four from the school record of 33) against the game-long, full-court pressing defense by the Redhawks. Eastern had just 15 turnovers, and finished with 18 fast-break points to the 17 of Seattle.

"In a game where Seattle traps and presses as much as they did, 15 turnovers is pretty respectable," Earlywine said. "That's true especially when you consider he had to play much of the game without Glen Dean and (senior guard) Benny Valentine because of foul trouble."

Winford, a true freshman, finished with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists in his most productive game as an Eagle.

Six Redhawks scored in double figures, led by the 24 of Chris Gweth. Six-foot-10 pro prospect Charles Garcia was held to 12 points and eight rebounds, and had six of his team's 24 turnovers. He had entered the game averaging a double-double (26.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game), and was ranked in the top five in NCAA Division I in scoring.

 

Last Season in Seattle . . . Eagles Lose Another Close One, 68-62 to Seattle: A late 8-0 run and clutch free throws down the stretch by Seattle sent the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team to its sixth-straight defeat, 68-62, in a non-conference game Feb. 1, 2010, at Key Arena.

Eastern took a 58-55 lead with 3:05 to play on a three-pointer by freshman Kevin Winford, but didn't score in the next 2 1/2 minutes. The Redhawks clinched the win by making 9-of-9 free throws in the final 1:49.

"I told the team at some point we have to start doing the things down the stretch to win a game," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. "And more importantly, we need to stop doing the things that beat us. That would be in the first step in the right direction."

Freshman Jeffrey Forbes led the Eagles with 14 points, including a three-pointer that gave EWU a 45-43 lead mid-way through the second half. Fellow freshman Glen Dean added 13 points, four assists and a pair of steals, and Winford chipped in nine points.

Although that trio was a combined 3-of-18 from three-point range, Earlywine praised them for their efforts. Eastern as a team made only 3-of-20 for 15 percent, its lowest percentage in its last 12 games.

"I give Kevin Winford a lot of credit to jumping up and hit that shot," he said. "He and Jeff orbes didn't shoot well, but they competed their butts off and had enough fortitude to hit big threes for us."

Senior Brandon Moore had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles, giving him his fifth double-double of the season and 11th of his career.

Eastern made just 41 percent of its shots from the field and had 19 turnovers, but Seattle made only 40 percent and had 20 turnovers. The Redhawks had a 38-32 rebounding advantage and made 21-of-28 free throws compared to 11-of-14 by the Eagles.

"We didn't shoot the ball particularly well, we got out-rebounded and they doubled us on the free throw line," said Earlywine. "In spite of all that, we had a three-point lead and control of the game. But we had mental and physical mistakes after that."

The first half featured more turnovers (22) than field goals (20) as both teams shot less than 40 percent from the field. Eastern's only lead was at 6-5 early in the half before Seattle went on an 11-0 run to open a double-digit lead.

 

































































































































































































































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