November 2, 2010

Shorthanded Eagles Fall to Seattle Pacific 87-82

Led by the 22 points of newcomer Tremayne Johnson, Eastern rallies from 17-point deficit but comes up short

Playing without two returning starting guards, Eastern Washington University opened its 2010-11 season with an 87-82 exhibition loss to Seattle Pacific Tuesday (Nov. 2) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The game does not count in the season record or statistics for either team.

Junior college transfer Tremayne Johnson led the Eagles with 22 points as EWU rallied from a 17-point deficit early in the second half. Eastern pulled to within three on several occasions late in the game.

Chris Banchero led Seattle Pacific with 38 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 12-of-15 from the free throw line. He also had nine assists, including a pass to Ryan Sweet with 14 seconds to play that put the Falcons ahead by five. Seattle Pacific clinched the win by making its final four free throws.

Seattle Pacific made 62 percent of their shots from the floor, including 16-of-24 in the first half when it took a 40-30 halftime lead. The lead ballooned to 17 when the Falcons scored the first seven points of the second half.

"It we would have came out and played really, really hard defensively in the first half and run out of gas, I could have lived with that," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine, who played eight players in the game. "I knew fatigue was going to be a factor. But they shot 62 percent -- 66 percent in the first half. I don't know if up to this point I've impressed upon the new players how hard you have to play and how much of a focus you have to have every day in practice. That's why you play these games."

"We have to play better and we have to defend better," he added.

Eastern played without sophomore guards Glen Dean and Jeffrey Forbes, who are both out with injuries. Dean is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his foot after averaging 12.2 points and 4.4 assists a year ago. Forbes sat out with a knee strain and averaged 11.0 points in his debut season.

Johnson made 7-of-11 shots from the field and 8-of-9 free throws, and also had three assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals in his Eagle debut. Another newcomer, guard Cliff Colimon contributed 19 points, four rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.

Both newcomers played 37 minutes, and another newcomer, Cliff Ederaine, played 26 minutes and had nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

"It was good for Cliff Colimon to get that many minutes," said Earlywine. "And we had to put a whole lot on Tremayne Johnson's shoulders tonight on both ends of the floor. Offensively he found his way to baskets, shot a high percentage and made his free throws. There were some good things."

Sophomore Kevin Winford, another returning starting guard, chipped in 14 points and three assists for the Eagles. Eastern had just 15 turnovers in the game and out-rebounded the Falcons 38-26 with 16 offensive rebounds.

The fact we turned the ball over only four times in the second half was encouraging. And the fact we got 16 offensive rebounds on 33 misses -- that's a heckuva percentage. If we can take some positives from the game, it would be those two things."

 

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