February 11, 2013

With Momentum, Eagles Back at Home to Host Southern Utah

With four of their next five games at home, Eagles are back in contention for a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth after improbable comeback at NAU

Complete Release in .PDF Format

Upcoming Games

Saturday, Feb. 16 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney, Wash.
2:05 p.m. Pacific - Southern Utah (8-6/10-13, at PSU 2/14) at Eastern Washington (5-9/7-17)

Monday, Feb. 18 - Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) - Portland, Ore.
7:35 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington  at Portland State

Coaches Show

Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at The Swinging Doors in North Spokane . . . 700-AM ESPN, www.700espn.com & via iphone app. (search for “Spokane Radio” and download app). Shows are each Tuesday from Jan. 8 to March 12 and feature head coach Jim Hayford and host Larry Weir. The Swinging Doors is located at W. 1018 Francis in Spokane.

Coverage

TV: The Southern Utah game will be televised live in the Eastern Washington region on SWX (SWX Digital 6.2 in Spokane, 25.3 in the Tri-Cities & 23.3 in the Yakima area; Comcast 115; Davis Cable 514/81.2/12; Time Warner 306; Charter 287, Cable One 466; Northland Cable 115).
Webcast: http://www.bigskytv.org
Radio:
All Eastern games are on 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 20th season calling the play-by-play, starting 20 minutes prior to tipoff.
Internet Radio:
www.700espn.com or www.tunein.com
Radio iPhone App:
Search for “Spokane Radio” and download app. An app is also available for tunein radio.
Live Stats: ewulive.statb.us (web/EWU Home Games) or ewustats.com (mobile phones/EWU Home Games) . . . PSU GAME


If its last eight minutes of action on the court are any indication, the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team is bringing some much-needed momentum to Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., this week.

Eastern hosts Southern Utah this Saturday (Feb. 16) at 2:05 p.m. in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game, as EWU plays four of its next five games at home. Coming off a come-from-behind overtime victory, the Eagle-Thunderbird match-up will be televised live regionally on SWX.

The radio broadcast of all Eastern games is on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.700espn.com and via iPhone application (search for “700 ESPN” and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via www.tunein.com and tunein’s mobile phone app. Larry Weir returns for his 20th year as the play-by-play voice of the Eagles.

The Eagles energized their postseason playoff hopes last Saturday (Feb. 9) with a thrilling, 77-74 overtime victory over Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Ariz. Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation, seldom-used redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 to help the Eagles rally. Eastern also utilized a full-court, trapping defense late in the game, and the Eagles fouled when the strategy didn’t result in turnovers, thus enabling EWU to lengthen the game and make an improbable comeback. At one point during the comeback, NAU went 9:38 without a field goal.

“We can really gain momentum here,” said Hayford. “The Northern Arizona game was really a turbo boost in that direction.”

Despite true freshman Venky Jois missing his third-straight game with a sprained ankle, Eastern’s win over NAU completed a season sweep and gives the Eagles a key tiebreaking advantage over the Lumberjacks. In addition, the victory was EWU’s first of the season in 12 tries on opponent home courts. It snapped a 13-game losing skid overall on the road as Eastern’s last win on an opponent’s home court was at Idaho State on Feb. 23, 2012, by an 85-78 score.

Most importantly, Eastern was able to gain ground on NAU in the chase to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. Currently in eighth place but just one game behind the Lumberjacks, the Eagles improved to 5-9 in the league and 7-17 overall. But Hayford isn’t quite sure how his team will respond after last week’s key victory.

“We’re a young team, so whenever we play, we find out the next game how we will respond,” he said. “I’m pretty sure Venky will play, and that will make a difference. We need to take care of our home court with three of our next four league games at home, starting with Southern Utah.”

The Eagles will be taking on one of the Big Sky’s hottest teams this week. Until falling at second-place Weber State on Feb. 9, the Thunderbirds had won their previous five games to move into third place in the league standings. Southern Utah is 8-6 in the league and 10-13 overall, and plays at Portland State prior to playing the Eagles in a rematch of a 69-55 Thunderbird win in Cedar City, Utah, on Jan. 26.

The Eagles are 5-5 at home this season, and are now 1-11 on opponent home courts (1-1 at neutral sites). Just seven teams advance to the league tournament, which takes place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion.

Following Saturday’s game, Eastern plays at Portland State on Monday (Feb. 18) before returning home for its next three. The Eagles play Feb. 23 versus Sam Houston State in the ESPN BracketBusters, then host Northern Colorado on Feb. 28 and North Dakota on March 2.

 

PDF Link to Fact Book

The complete version of the 2012 EWU men’s basketball fact book may be found at:
http://goeags.com/trads/ewas-factbooks.html

 

More Eagle Basketball Links

Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Link to Ticket Information: http://goeags.com/newtickets/tickets.html
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

 

Quick Shots

* Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation against Northern Arizona on Feb. 9, Eastern head coach Jim Hayford still had a couple of tricks up his sleeve. And one of them was redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey. The redshirt freshman came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable 77-74 overtime victory in Flagstaff, Ariz. Hayford used a trapping defense in the final four minutes of the second half to complete the comeback and help force the game into overtime. In all, Eastern out-scored NAU 26-8 in the last 6:34 of regulation time and 11-8 in overtime. After taking its 58-40 lead, NAU scored its next 10 points at the free throw line, including a stretch of 9:38 without a field goal. Harvey had entered the game having averaged just 4.8 minutes in the 13 games he has played thus far as an Eagle. He had only scored 17 points the entire season, with a high of six in the team’s opener at Washington State. He made 5-of-6 shots overall and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line against the Lumberjacks; before that he had made only 6-of-17 overall and 3-of-9 treys for the season. Eastern trailed by 13 when Harvey entered the game for the second time with 3:42 left. He never came out after that, and scored eight points in regulation and six in overtime.

* Sophomore Parker Kelly out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane established a new career high with 19 points in EWU’s come-from-behind 77-74 overtime win over Northern Arizona on Feb. 9. Kelly finished 6-of-10 from the field, including 5-of-9 3-point attempts. Three of his treys came in the last 11:04 of the game as EWU made nine of its last 15 shots from the 3- point stripe. Kelly’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation and a subsequent defensive stop by the Eagles helped send the game into overtime tied at 66. Including an eight-point effort one game earlier, he made 9-of-17 shots from the field overall and 6-of-14 from the 3-point stripe last week. Kelly is now averaging 10.2 points per game in his last 18 games after scoring just 10 in the first five games he played. He has started 12 of the 23 games he has played this season, and is now averaging 8.4 points and 0.9 assists per game, while making 39-of-104 3-point shots for 40.5 percent.

* Senior point guard Kevin Winford is averaging 11.2 points and 4.4 assists in EWU’s last five games, and was the only Eagle with a pair of double-figure scoring performances last week. He finished with 11 points at Sacramento State on Feb. 7 and 12 in EWU’s 77-74 overtime win at Northern Arizona on Feb. 9. He also had five assists in each game, and had a career-high four steals versus the Lumberjacks. Winford had his most productive outings in two years with 13 points in both meetings versus Montana State this season. His performances against the Bobcats were his best since scoring 15 versus Northern Colorado on Feb. 3, 2011. He also had his most assists since dishing out a career-high seven versus New Hope on Dec. 4, 2010 (he scored 39 points in that game with a school-record 10 3-pointers). In the first meeting with MSU, Eastern played its second game with Winford in the lineup as starting point guard, with Justin Crosgile no longer on the team after starting the first 12 games.

* Despite missing most of the previous four games with a hand injury, senior guard Jeffrey Forbes returned against Sacramento State on Feb. 7 and then started his school-record 100th game for the Eagles Feb. 9 at Northern Arizona. He scored 10 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left that provided the final margin versus the Lumberjacks. He also had four assists and a career-high eight rebounds in the 77-74 overtime win over NAU. He started and scored six points against the Hornets one game earlier, but essentially did not play in the previous four games because of a cut that required stitches between the pinkie finger and ring finger of his shooting hand. He did not play versus Montana State, played in just the final seconds of the games against Montana and Southern Utah and only the final seconds of the first half versus Portland State. He suffered the injury late in the game versus Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, and one game earlier had missed the first game of his career because of a knee injury suffered in an automobile accident involving one of the team’s mini-vans. Forbes has now played 114 games in his career – which ranks fourth in school history and is just five behind the school record of 119 set by Marc Axton from 2002-05. If he doesn’t miss any more games, Forbes will tie the record on Senior Day on March 2 versus North Dakota. Axton held the previous games started record with 99.

* Venky Jois already has 50 blocked shots this season to rank second in school history, just one behind the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. Teammate Martin Seiferth has 42 to rank third. Jois already ranks ninth on EWU’s career list. With 128 as a team, the Eagles are just two blocked shots away from the school record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season.

* Thus far, the Eagles have used 11 different starting lineups because of a variety of reasons and obstacles placed before them. But the one constant has been the continued development of young players, including five freshmen/sophomores who each have started at least two games with a collective total of 73 starts this season (sophomores Parker Kelly and Martin Seiferth, and true freshmen Venky Jois, Thomas Reuter and Daniel Hill).

* True freshman Venky Jois had a career high seven assists and equaled his career high with 14 rebounds in Eastern’s 72-68 victory over Montana State on Jan. 31, and he also had eight points and three blocked shots. Jois, however, missed the last 3:15 with an ankle injury, and then sat out the three games since then. Jois has established himself as a bonafide contender for All-Big Sky Conference honors, as well as the league’s Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year accolades. He has had nine double-doubles this season to lead the Big Sky and rank 26th in NCAA Division I (through games of Feb. 10). He also leads the league and ranks 20th nationally in rebounding (9.7), and is 30th in the nation and tops in the Big Sky in blocked shots (2.4 per game). His 50 blocked shots this season already ranks second in school history, just one behind the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. He is also 12th in the league in scoring (13.1) and eighth in field goal percentage (.493). He had 20 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and five assists in a 76-65 win over Portland State as he came two points and a rebound away from his season highs. Against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, Jois equaled the school record of seven blocked shots set earlier this season by teammate Martin Seiferth, as Jois finished with yet another monster game with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and the seven blocks. He had his best game as an Eagle with 22 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting against Cal State Fullerton in EWU’s 79-75 win on Nov. 30 to earn Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors. In January, he was selected to the Collegehoopsdaily.com All-Big Sky Conference team from the first half of the season, and was also the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month for January. Earlier in the season, he was selected to the All-Tournament Team for his performances in the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic in Santa Clara, Calif. He had a pair of double-doubles with 19 points and 11 rebounds in EWU’s 75-70 win over South Carolina Upstate and 16 points and 11 boards one game earlier in an 86-83 loss to Utah Valley. Jois came to Eastern after winning a pair of MVP awards in Australia. He was the Bob Staunton 2012 U-20 National Championship MVP, after leading the Victoria State Team to the championship and an unbeaten record. Saint Mary’s College and NBA standout Patty Mills won the Bob Staunton MVP Award in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Jois was the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) Youth Player of the Year in 2011, an award given to the top under-23 player and previously won by college and NBA standouts Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.

* After leading NCAA Division I in 3-pointers made per game through games of Nov. 30, Eastern is now 12th through games of Feb. 10. The Eagles are averaging a league-leading 8.7 makes per game (total of 209) while attempting an average of 25.9 (total of 622). Last year, when EWU set school records with 283 makes and 793 attempts, Eastern averaged 8.8 made treys per game on an average of 24.8 attempts.

* Eastern is leading the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots with 128 already for an average of 5.3 per game to rank 17th in NCAA Division I. Individual Eagles are ranked No. 1 and No. 4 in the league, with Venky Jois averaging 2.4 per game to rank 30th in NCAA Division I and Martin Seiferth averaging 1.8 to rank 86th. The Eagles had a school-record 130 in the 2005-06 season (4.3 average per game).

* The Eagles are tied for second in the Big Sky in offensive rebounds with an average of 11.3 per game (Southern Utah 12.1, Montana State 11.3). Martin Seiferth has a 2.4 average and Venky Jois is averaging 2.3 to rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the league. A year ago, Eastern averaged 12.0 offensive boards per game to lead the league.

* Three Eagles rank in the top six in school history in career 3-pointers made. Jeffrey Forbes is third (166), Kevin Winford is fifth (138) and Collin Chiverton is sixth (122). In attempts, Forbes is third (442), Winford (407) is fifth and Chiverton is sixth (319), and Chiverton is also 10th in career 3-point field goal percentage (38.2).

* Eastern knows a lot about the Bearkats from the football field, just not much yet about their men’s basketball team. The Eagles will host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Feb. 23 as pairings were announced Jan. 4 for the ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series of college basketball games. The game has been scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Pacific time at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. As part of the final year of BracketBusters, Eastern will play a return game against SHSU in Huntsville, Texas -- probably in the 2014-15 season. Eastern hosted and played the Bearkats last Dec. 15 in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, won by SHSU 45-42. The two football teams will play each other again in regular season meetings this fall on Sept. 28 in Huntsville and in 2014 in Cheney.

* With the league expanded to 11 teams, the Big Sky Conference Tournament includes seven teams this year and will take place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion. The host receives a first-round bye, with the other six teams playing for the other three berths in the semifinals. A year ago, Eastern beat Idaho State 81-75 in the first round before losing to eventual champion Montana 74-66 in the semifinals.

 
 

More EWU Notes

* Second-year Eastern head coach Jim Hayford will coach in his 400th career game on March 7 when the Eagles play at Idaho State. He is currently 276-118 (70.1 percent) in 13-plus seasons as a head coach, including a 22-34 mark at Eastern. He was 217-57 (79.2 percent) in 10 seasons at Whitworth (2001-2011), and before that was 37-27 in two seasons at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).

* Eastern’s game with Idaho on Dec. 6 was the 100th in the Eastern career of senior guard Jeffrey Forbes, and fellow senior Kevin Winford played in his 100th on Dec. 22 versus Idaho State. Forbes, who has now scored 970 points in his 114-game Eastern career, needs only 30 points to become the 16th player in school history to hit the 1,000-point mark. Currently fourth in career games played, he could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. Forbes has averaged 30.0 minutes per game in his Eastern career with 100 starts. He ranks eighth in school history wit­­­h 113 career steals, and is also third in 3-pointers made (166) and third in attempts (442). Winford has started 45 of the 110 games he has played (eighth-most games played in school history), averaging 19.4 minutes per game. He has made 138-of-407 3-pointers in his career to rank fifth in school history in both categories, with a total of 698 points scored.

* Six-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth has made 61.2 percent of his shots from the field, and would rank second in the Big Sky if he had enough attempts to qualify. Thus far, Seiferth is averaging 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds (17th in the Big Sky) and 1.7 blocked shots per game (fourth in the Big Sky). His 42 blocked shots already rank as the third-most in school history. He scored 13 points with six rebounds and four blocked shots in EWU’s 76-65 win over Portland State on Jan. 28. He made 6-of-7 shots from the field and had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in just 26 minutes of action at North Dakota on Jan. 17. Earlier this season he was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after finishing with 27 points, 17 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots in a 96-79 loss at Cal State Northridge. The transfer from Oregon had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.

* Senior Collin Chiverton scored 20 points against Montana State on Jan. 31, including Eastern’s final six in the last 1:21 of the 72-68 victory. He made 7-of-14 shots and 5-of-5 free throws in the game for his 14th 20-point performance of his career and his second of the season. He had a season-best 22 points against Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 for his best performance since a career-high 26 against Seattle on Jan. 16, 2012. He played versus Montana on Jan. 3 for his first appearance since Nov. 23. Last year’s Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year, Chiverton missed six games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 following the death of a close friend in San Francisco. Previously, his mother passed away just as the season began. Chiverton scored just 15 points in EWU’s first three outings, but has bumped his average to 10.4 for the season. Foul trouble hindered him early in the year, and he scored 19 points in just 18 minutes before fouling out with 6:20 to play against South Carolina Upstate in EWU’s 75-70 win. One game later, he made 7-of-15 attempts from the field, including 4-of-12 3-point attempts, versus Santa Clara for his second-straight 19-point game. A year ago, he had 12 20-point performances, but was slowed late in the year with injuries.

* Since becoming eligible in mid-December, Australian point guard Daniel Hill has averaged 1.8 points, 1.5 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game in an average of 14.1 minutes per game (15 total games). He made the first start of his career at point guard on Jan. 17 at North Dakota as an injury replacement for Kevin Winford, and he had a season-high five assists, four rebounds and a steal in 38 minutes. He also had five assists one game later versus Northern Colorado when he played 35 minutes in place of Winford for the second-straight game. Hill had three assists in EWU’s 82-59 win over Northern Arizona on Jan. 10, and a season-high eight points in his third game as an Eagle in a 57-54 victory over Idaho State on Dec. 22.

* True freshman Thomas Reuter has scored in double figures five times this season, including 11 in EWU’s loss to Montana on Feb. 2. For the season, he has started 14 of EWU’s 24 games and is averaging 23.2 minutes, 5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He had a season-high 16 points with five rebounds in EWU’s 79-75 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 30.

* Until Montana sank 46.2 percent on Feb. 2, Eastern held its last 10 opponents to 44 percent or less shooting from the field. After allowing non-conference opponents to make a collective 48.0 percent against them, the Eagles have allowed conference opponents to shoot at just a 40.0 percent clip (third in the BSC). EWU is now 6-5 when it holds opponents to 43.5 percent or less and 1-12 when it doesn’t. The Eagles made only 38.0 percent versus Idaho State on Dec. 22, but had a season-best defensive effort of 37.9 percent against the Bengals. Eastern bettered that two games later by holding Montana State to 34.5 percent, then held the Bobcats to just 30.3 percent in the rematch on Jan. 31.

* Eastern made 52 percent of its shots and had just four turnovers in the first half against Montana State on Jan. 31 in Cheney. The Eagles led by five at intermission and by as many as 13 early in the second half, but the Eagles made only 27 percent and had nine turnovers in the second half. The Bobcats rallied to pull within one, but Collin Chiverton scored the final six points for the Eagles, who had their best defensive performance of the season in holding MSU to 30.3 percent shooting.

* Eastern successfully began its three-game homestand by leading from start to finish in a 76-65 win over Portland State on Jan. 28. The Eagles led 33-25 at halftime, then went on a 9-2 run to start the second half and open a double-digit lead it held most of the rest of the game. In the four games prior to that – all losses – the Eagles out-scored opponents 125-114 in the first half, but were out-scored 152-86 in the second half (average differential of 16 points, 38-22).

* Despite starting two true freshmen and two sophomores, a key to the 76-65 win over Portland State game on Jan. 28 was EWU’s composure. The Eagles had just eight turnovers – equaling their fewest since a season-low four versus Idaho on Dec. 6.

* En route to a season-best 50.0 percent shooting night against Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 in an 82-59 win, Eastern had a season-high 44 points inside the paint and a season-high 20 second-chance points. The Eagles had 17 offensive boards and out-rebounded the Lumberjacks 49-37.

* Eastern’s 40-22 lead at halftime against Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 was easily its biggest halftime advantage of the season, having owned an 11-point lead at intermission against Utah Valley in November. But the loss to Utah Valley – as well as losses to Idaho on Dec. 6, Montana State on Jan. 5 and Sacramento State on Jan. 12 – came after EWU held double-digit second-half advantages. Eastern is now 5-6 when leading or tied at halftime, and 2-11 when it trails.

* The 54 points the Eagles allowed in a three-point win over Idaho State on Dec. 22 were the fewest they surrendered by 16 – the previous best for the Eagles came in a 75-70 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Nov. 21. Eastern held the Bengals to 37.9 percent shooting from the field, which at the time was EWU’s best defensive effort of the season.

* As an illustration of their balance, the Eagles had six double figure scoring performances on the road at Montana and Montana State, but none were by the same player. Against the Grizzlies on Jan. 3, Venky Jois led the way with 16, with Collin Chiverton and Thomas Reuter coming off the bench to score 15 and 14, respectively. Two nights later at MSU, senior starters Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford scored 18 and 13, respectively, and sophomore starter Martin Seiferth had 11.

* Portland State and Eastern are in the third year of a five-sport rivalry cup called “The Dam Cup.” Eastern Washington currently leads the competition, 8-5.  The so-named rivalry refers to the four dams linking Oregon and Washington that one passes on the 339-mile drive from the Portland State campus to the Eastern Washington campus. Located along the Columbia River, they are Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, The John Day Dam and the McNary Dam. The winner of the Dam Cup will possess The Dam Trophy acknowledging the achievement for the following year. Portland State currently possesses the Dam Trophy having won the inaugural Dam Cup in 2010-11 by a 9-8 score, and the 2011-12 Cup by a 15-2 score. The annual football game is worth four points, the women's soccer match is worth one point, each women's volleyball match is worth two points for a total of four points possible, and each men's and women's basketball game is worth two points for a total of four points possible in each sport, The total points possible are 17, which means that to win the cup a school would need to win at least nine points. Here is a listing of the 2012-13 Dam Cup Series games and current point totals: Volleyball - Sept. 17 PSU 3, @ EWU 0 - PSU leads 2-0; Soccer - Sept. 30 @ PSU 4 @ EWU 0 - PSU leads 3-0; Volleyball - Oct. 18 @ PSU 3, EWU 0 - PSU leads 5-0; Football - Nov. 17 EWU 41, @ PSU 34 - PSU leads 5-4; Women's Basketball - Jan. 21 EWU 68, @ PSU 56 - EWU leads 6-5; Men's Basketball - Jan. 28 @ EWU 76, PSU 65; Men's Basketball - Feb. 18 @ PSU; Women's Basketball - Feb. 21 @ EWU.

* The Eagles had a season high 17 3-pointers made versus UC Davis on Dec. 17, and have attempted at least 39 3-point attempts on four occasions. Eastern’s 17 3-pointers were one behind the school record of 18 set on Dec. 4, 2010, against New Hope. Eastern had a season-high 43 attempts (making 14) in a 77-74 overtime victory over Northern Arizona on Feb. 9, 42 attempts (11 makes) against Utah Valley on Nov. 20 and 41 attempts versus UC Davis. Eastern had a record 48 3-point attempts on Jan. 19, 1995, versus Sacramento State.

* The Montana loss on Jan. 3 was Eastern’s first game without former starting point guard Justin Crosgile, who left the team for personal reasons to be closer to his family. Crosgile, who is from Patterson, N.J., and is a transfer from St. Joseph’s (Pa.), started EWU’s first 12 games and averaged 14.7 points, 5.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

 

EWU vs. Southern Utah Series Notes

* The Eagles 1-4 all-time against Southern Utah (1-1 in Cheney, 0-3 in Cedar City). When Eastern lost 69-55 at Southern Utah on Jan. 26, 2013, it marked the first Big Sky Conference meeting between the two schools. It was also the first meeting overall since Jan. 10, 1994, when Eastern lost at home, 69-65. The Eagles lost the previous three meetings against the Thunderbirds -- Eastern lost in Cedar City 87-67 on Feb. 17, 1993, 70-68 in Cheney on Dec. 21, 1993 and 71-50 in Cedar City on Dec. 28, 1993.

 
 

EWU vs. Portland State Series Notes

* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are now 18-17 versus the Vikings. All of the meetings have come since 1997 when PSU joined the Big Sky Conference, and Eastern is 12-6 in Cheney and 6-10 against PSU in Portland (0-1 on neutral courts) since then.

* The Vikings, who won 78-76 in overtime in the 2011-12 season in Cheney and 69-64 in Portland, has a 20-19 edge in the overall series. Eastern owns a 13-7 record in Cheney and 6-12 mark in Portland (0-1 on neutral courts) against the Vikings.

* Despite losing eight of the last 10 meetings, the Eagles have still won 16 of the last 28 meetings. With a 65-61 home victory on Jan. 27, 2011, Eastern snapped a six-game losing streak to the Vikings. Before that, the last Eastern win in the series was a 58-57 home win over the Vikings on Dec. 22, 2007. Prior to that, Eastern had won five of the last six meetings.

 
 
 

Records Watch

* Eastern is nearing a pair of blocked shots records. Venky Jois already has 50 blocked shots this season to rank second in school history, just one behind the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. With 128 as a team, the Eagles are just nine blocked shots away from the school record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season. In addition, Martin Seiferth has 42 blocks to rank third on EWU’s single season list, and Jois already ranks ninth on EWU’s career list. Jois equaled the school record of Seiferth with seven blocked shots against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19. Seiferth broke the previous school record of six that had stood for 25 years when he had seven at Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12.

* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes broke the school record on Feb. 9 with his 100th game started, breaking the previous record of 99 set by Marc Axton (2002-05). Forbes has played in 114 games to rank sixth in school history, and could break Axton’s school record of 119 games played. If he doesn’t miss any more games, Forbes will tie the record on Senior Day on March 2 versus North Dakota. The only two games he missed in his career came this season versus North Dakota (1/17/13) because of a knee injury and against Montana State (1/31/13) because of a hand injury. A 100-game starter, Forbes has averaged 30.0 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He ranks eighth in school history wit­­­h 113 career steals, just four from reaching No. 6. He is also third in 3-pointers made (166) and third in attempts (442). He is 18 makes and 57 attempts away from school records. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 87.2 percent (156-of-179), but he is 49 attempts shy to meet the minimum of two free throw attempts per game. Forbes set a single season school record for free throw percentage (.900, 54-of-60) as a sophomore. He also made 55 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank as the 11th-most in Eastern history (now 13th entering the 2012-13 season).

* Senior guard Kevin Winford has played in 110 career games to rank eighth in school history, and also ranks in the top 10 on several Eastern season and career lists for 3-point shooting. On career charts, his 138 makes and his 407 attempts both rank fifth. Winford made 66 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank fifth (now sixth) in single season school history, and his 187 attempts were fourth (now fifth). He owns school records for single game 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (23) when he finished with 39 points – fifth-best in school history – in his sophomore season against New Hope (12/4/10).

* Senior forward Collin Chiverton and his 122 3-pointers rank sixth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 319 attempts are sixth and his .382 percentage is currently 10th. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 136 of 186 games for a .731 winning percentage. His junior college and high school teams won 114 of 131 games (87 percent).

* Sophomore center Martin Seiferth broke a school record that stood for 25 years with seven blocked shots in a 96-79 loss to Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12. Seiferth, who also had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the game, broke the previous record of six set by Dexter Griffen versus Idaho State on Jan. 2, 1987. Seiferth’s 17 rebounds are the sixth-best recorded performance all-time at Eastern. The sophomore from Berlin, Germany, just missed a spot on Eastern’s all-time leading scorers list, with 30 points scored by 10 different players to rank 39th.

 
 

Recent Game Summaries

* Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation, Eastern head coach Jim Hayford still had a couple of tricks up his sleeve, and one of them was redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey. The redshirt freshman came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable 77-74 overtime victory over Northern Arizona Feb. 9 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Harvey had entered the game with 17 points (high of six), while averaging just 4.8 minutes in the 13 games he had played as an Eagle. He made 5-of-6 shots overall and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line against the Lumberjacks; before that he had made only 6-of-17 overall and 3-of-9 treys for the season. Eastern trailed by 13 when Harvey entered the game for the second time with 3:42 left, and he never came out after that. Sophomore Parker Kelly led the Eagles with a career-high 19 points, and senior Kevin Winford scored 12 with five assists and a career-high four steals. Senior Jeffrey Forbes chipped in 10 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left that provided the final margin, as well as four assists and a career-high eight rebounds, After making just two of their first 17 shots in the second half – including only 1-of-13 3-point shots – the Eagles fell behind by 18 with 7:35 to play. But the Eagles made 10 of their last 17 shots (59 percent), including nine of their last 15 from the 3-point stripe (60 percent). Besides the four treys made by Harvey, Kelly had three and Winford and Jordan Hickert each had one in the final 11:04 of the game. Kelly’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation and a subsequent defensive stop helped send the game into overtime tied at 66. Harvey hit a pair of treys in overtime, and Kelly had one, as EWU led by as many as five in the extra period. In all, Eastern out-scored NAU 26-8 in the last 6:34 in regulation and 11-8 in overtime. After taking its 58-40 lead, NAU scored its next 10 points at the free throw line, including a stretch of 9:38 without a field goal. Hayford used a trapping defense in the final four minutes of the second half to complete the comeback and help force the game into overtime. Northern Arizona finished the game at 48 percent from the field, but was guilty of 19 turnovers, including 12 of them after intermission. Eastern scored a season-high 21 points off turnovers, but the main difference in the game was EWU’s 14-of-43 shooting from the 3-point line.

* The Eagles used a 9-0 run to take its first leads of the game in the second half, but a subsequent scoreless spell of nearly five minutes led to a 61-55 loss to Sacramento State Feb. 7 in Sacramento, Calif. Eastern used a 9-0 run to pull in front for the first time in the game, but went 4:58 without scoring as Sac State went on a 10-0 run to regain a six-point advantage. The Eagles had costly turnovers and misses down the stretch, and the Hornets made 7-of-10 free throws in the final 3:24 to close out the victory. Senior Collin Chiverton made 5-of-6 shots and finished with 12 points to lead Eastern. Senior Kevin Winford scored 11 and true freshman Thomas Reuter had nine, with both finishing with five assists for EWU. The Eagles made 42 percent of their shots compared to 40 percent for the Hornets, and EWU sank 10-of-28 3-point attempts. The difference was at the free throw line where Sac State was 20-of-27 compared to 3-of-8 for Eastern.

* Read more at: http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index

 
 

Quoting Coach Jim Hayford

On NAU Win: “It’s just a fantastic win for us. When you look at where it puts us in the race to achieve our goal of making the Big Sky Tournament, it’s even more dramatic. So I’m really, really happy for our players. I’m really proud of our team -- what a great day for all of our players. You couldn’t write it up to be any more dramatic.”

On Tyler Harvey Down the Stretch in Comeback Win Over NAU: “We said, ‘alright Tyler, let’s go.’ We wanted to start chipping away and cut it to 10, then get it cut down more. And it started happening. What inspiration from Tyler. He has amazing character and is an outstanding young man. It’s great for him to have this moment -- the team had him on their shoulders in the locker room passing him around, yelling and cheering. That substitution brought some inspiration, and then the rest of our team was playing at the top of their level.”

On Parker Kelly in Comeback: “When Parker missed a couple of threes in the second half, he came out of the game and said, ‘coach, I will make those.’ He was really certain of that, and he did.”

On Late-Game Defensive Strategy Versus NAU: “We decided to make it a long four minutes. We were going to trap like crazy, and if they broke the trap we were going to foul the next player and make it a longer game. We did that and executed it. We got real feisty. We put five guards on the court and picked them up full court defensively. The pressure switched on them and away from us. We made a great stop to get it to the overtime, then Tyler made two threes that let us get hold of the lead for good.”

On Sacramento State Loss: “Our effort was good, our execution was good and our defense was good. We just needed to make a few more shots, and then we needed to get to the foul line more and make them. We showed pride and we showed class in a hostile environment. I’m going to hang my hat on that. In close games you have to execute and you have to put the ball in the basket. Our team did a really, really good job with execution, but we didn’t make the winning plays – that’s what we need to do. We showed poise, we just need to finish the plays with makes.”

On BracketBuster Game Versus Sam Houston State: “It continues our rivalry between Cheney, Wash., and the suburbs of Houston. We’re looking forward to hosting them, in part because it’s the last BracketBuster match-up. They are one of the better defensive teams in the country and have a really-balanced scoring team. It will be a good opponent for us and it will mean we will go back down to Texas and play them there too. Especially for our team, it gives us a chance to take a breath and play a different kind of game. We are not playing for our postseason life (in that game), and we can use it to make us better. It’s another home game and a chance to win on our home floor. I see a lot of positives in playing this game.”

On Chiverton & Winford Versus MSU on Jan. 31: “The big thing for us was down the stretch is that we had seniors step up. Kevin was a great defensive rebounder in the second half, and Collin made free throws down the stretch. That’s showing the young guys how to do it. When you get those kinds of contributions it will be fun. It is going to be a lot better result.”

On Venky Jois: “Venky has been our most consistent player. He is a great leader even though he is only a freshman. The biggest compliment (I can give him) is that I expect him to play that way.”

On Kevin Winford & Jeffrey Forbes at MSU: “Kevin and Jeff gave great senior performances to lead and show our team how you play on the road. I just want to give those two young men a lot of credit. They both have amazing personal character, are great guys and they really did lead by example.”

On Toughness After ISU Win & WSU Loss:  “We need to keep building toughness. The way you get toughness is you face adversity, and you find success against it. When you face adversity -- and fail against it -- you go up the next time and you look for success. That’s what we are committed to do as a coaching staff.”

On Aggressive Play: “I’m scrappy so I’m going to try to make them scrappy every day. That’s the only way I know how to play basketball. It’s just a truth. The team that plays harder wins. That’s the great equalizer -- there’s talent and whatever, but I hope we just get scrappier.”

 
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