January 14, 2012

Northern Colorado Takes Lead on Technical to Win 71-70

Chiverton hits go-ahead basket, but calls timeout when none remained for Eastern versus Bears in battle for third place in the league standings

Colin Chiverton was just trying to do what he could to get a win for the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team.

After hitting the go-ahead basket with 18 seconds to play, six ticks of the clock later while battling for a loose ball on the floor he called a timeout the Eagles didn’t have as Northern Colorado went on to beat EWU 71-70 Saturday (Jan. 14) in a battle for third place in the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball standings.

Tate Unruh made two free throws with 12 seconds to play, then EWU was unable to get a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds. The loss came after Eastern led for more than 16 minutes of the second half.

“To Chiverton’s credit, he made a big shot,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “If he doesn’t make it, the timeout he called that we didn’t have wouldn’t have mattered. He was on the floor trying to get a loose ball (when the timeout was called). But it was a hard way to lose a ballgame.

“I want to give him credit. He made the basket that put us in a position to win. What a ballgame.”

After losing a game that featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes , the Eagles are now 3-3 in the league and 9-9 overall, and Northern Colorado is 3-2 in the league and 6-10 overall. The Bears moved into third place in the Big Sky standings behind Montana and Weber State.

“They’re really hurting right now,” said Hayford of his team, which made only 39 percent of its shots. “I’ve coached basketball long enough and things like this happen.

“But the fact we shot it as poorly we did, yet still have a chance to win it at the end, speaks to the heart of our basketball team. We’ll build from that.”

The Eagles conclude a stretch of three road games in five nights when it plays at Seattle University in a non-conference game on Monday (Jan. 16). The Redhawks are 3-12 overall after falling to Utah Valley 84-74, but one of their wins was an 85-73 road win on Nov. 22. Eastern beat the Bobcats in Bozeman 82-66 on Dec. 28.

The radio broadcast of the game featuring play-by-play announcer Dennis Patchin, may be heard on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.espnnorthwest.com and via iPhone application (search for “Spokane Radio” and download the free app).

Eastern still hasn’t had back-to-back victories in league play on the road since the 2003-04 season. That year, EWU swept the Montana schools on Feb. 5 (defeated MSU 64-61) and Feb. 7 (defeated Montana 71-52). Earlier this season, Eastern had a chance to snap that skid, but lost at Montana 79-71.

The poor shooting continued for the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team, so the Eagles turned to an unlikely pair for some offensive help. True freshman Parker Kelly and junior Jordan Hickert combined for 21 points after entering the game with a combined 5.4 average per outing.

Kelly, a 2011 graduate of Gonzaga Prep High School in nearby Spokane, Wash., helped provide a spark to Eastern’s offense with a career-high 12 points. Kelly, who made 3-of-7 shots – including 3-of-4 3-pointers – also scored 12 versus Linfield earlier this season, but his previous high versus a NCAA Division opponent was five.

Hickert added nine points off the bench, making 3-of-5 3-point attempts.

Chiverton led Eastern with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-9 3-point shots. It was his eighth 20-point performance of the season and second-straight. Cliff Ederaine added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“They gave us great minutes,” said Hayford of Kelly and Hickert. “Ederaine gave us a double-double and Chiverton scored 21. We gave ourselves a great opportunity.”

Senior point guard Cliff Colimon had seven assists, but fouled out with 5:06 to play. He finished with just three points, making just 1-of-10 shots, including all six of his three-point attempts.

The Eagles were out-scored at the free throw line 25-14. Eastern also slipped to 7-3 when leading at halftime.

“They got to the free throw line 22 more times than we did (40-18) and we got into foul trouble,” added Hayford. “It would have been nice make a few more shots so it’s not a one possession game there at the end.”

 
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