March 8, 2013

Dust Will Clear Saturday for Eagles in Big Sky Playoff Race

Two scenarios would enable Eastern to finish in a three-way tie for final berth, but those include a win over a Weber State team riding a 10-game winning streak and impressive national rankings for 3-point defense and shooting offense

Complete Release in .PDF Format

Upcoming Games

Saturday, March 9 - Dee Events Center (11,500) - Ogden, Utah
6:05 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington (7-12/10-20) at Weber State (17-2/23-5)

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: None.
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: Weber State Game


The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team kicked up some dust with its impressive 87-73 win at Idaho State on Thursday (March 7), but that dust will all settle come Saturday evening.

Entering the final day of the Big Sky Conference season still with a chance to advance to the postseason, the Eagles close the regular season at Weber State Saturday (March 9) at 6:05 p.m. at the Dee Events Center. The Wildcats are the league’s hottest team with a current 10-game winning streak.

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.

But for EWU to advance, the Eagles need to win their final game at Weber State, and also need the results for three other conference teams to go a particular way. Out of a trio of potential three-way ties for the final berth, two of them go Eastern’s way. A potential four-way tie does not.

The Eagles are now 10-20 overall and 7-12 in the league, but must play a Weber State team still with legitimate hopes of winning the regular season title and hosting the seven-team Big Sky Conference Tournament March 14-16. If the Wildcats win and Montana stumbles at home versus Northern Arizona, Weber State could still possibly host the conference tournament.

Weber State is 17-2 in league games and 23-5 overall, and hasn’t lost since losing at Montana 76-74 on Jan. 26. Back on Dec. 20, the Eagles fell 74-53 at home to the Wildcats. Eastern is just 4-27 all-time in Ogden, but did end the regular season in 2011 with a 75-59 win in Ogden. The Wildcats have won their last 18 home games, but in 2000 Eastern snapped WSU’s 30-game home winning streak, which at the time was the fourth longest in NCAA Division I.

In Eastern’s win over Idaho State, the Eagles made an impressive 14-of-26 3-point attempts, including six by Parker Kelly and five by Tyler Harvey. The Eagles are ranked 11th in NCAA Division I with an average of 8.6 treys per game. Now with 174 blocked shots for the season (a 5.8 average to rank 11th nationally), the Eagles are just five away from the Big Sky Conference record of 179 set by Idaho State in the 2005-06 season.

But Saturday, the Eagles will face a Weber State team ranked third nationally in three-point field goal defense (.282). The Wildcats also lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage offensively (.434) and in field goal percentage overall (.512), and fifth in scoring margin (+14.5).

In Thursday’s 80-52 romp over Portland State, the Wildcats made 8-of-16 3-pointers and 56 percent of their shots overall, and held the Vikings to 2-of-10 shooting from beyond the 3-point stripe. In the December meeting between EWU and WSU, Eastern made 4-of-16 treys and Weber State was 8-of-15, and the Wildcats out-shot the Eagles 47 percent to 34 percent.

“The Idaho State victory was a good win and I’m just really proud of our players,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “We’ll see what we can do at Weber State, but hopefully we can shoot the ball from the 3-point line like we did against Idaho State. Weber defends the 3-point line so well, so we are going to have to do something besides that. But that performance against ISU will definitely have them keying on our outside shooters.”

Eastern is trying for its third-straight tournament berth, and 13th in 26 years as a member of the Big Sky Conference, with 12 previous appearances (1990, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 11, 12).

“The bigger picture is that any time you put on an Eastern Washington University uniform – whether you are playing for the postseason or not – it’s an honor,” said Hayford heading into the ISU game. “That’s the way we’ll treat this week, and that means something to our fans and anybody who went to school here, works at this school or is a student now. We’ll take great pride in that regardless of what situation we are in heading into our games this week.”

 

PDF Link to Fact Book

The complete version of the 2012-13 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

The Scenarios

* One scenario for the Eagles to advance to the Big Sky Conference Tournament is for EWU to beat Weber State, Northern Arizona to lose at Montana, Southern Utah to lose at North Dakota and Sacramento State to win at Montana State. If that happened, Sac would finish 9-11 and avoid a four-way tie that would go against EWU. NAU-SUU-EWU would finish tied for seventh at 8-12, and EWU and SUU would each be 3-1 among the tied teams, and NAU would be 0-4. That would eliminate NAU, and because EWU/SUU split, Eastern’s win Saturday against Weber State would break the tie.

* The second three-way tie that gets Eastern in requires EWU to win at Weber State, Southern Utah to win at North Dakota, Northern Arizona to lose at Montana and Sacramento State to lose at Montana State. The Eagles, NAU and Sac State would all finish in a three-way tie for seventh at 8-12. The teams would be 2-2 amongst each other, therefore, the seventh and final berth would go to EWU by virtue of its victory over Weber State.

* The other potential 3-way tie would be if EWU wins at Weber State, Southern Utah loses at North Dakota, Sac State loses at Montana State and Northern Arizona wins at Montana. EWU-SUU-Sac would finish 8-12. In that scenario, EWU would be 1-3, SUU would be 2-2 and Sac State would be 3-1, thus giving the Hornets the final berth.

* A four-way tie for sixth between EWU-NAU-SAC-SUU would not go in Eastern’s favor – thus necessitating Southern Utah’s win at North Dakota or Sac State’s win at Montana State, but not both. In that scenario, SUU would be 4-2 amongst the tied teams, EWU and Sac would be 3-3 and NAU 2-4. SUU would advance as the sixth-place team and NAU would be eliminated, and the EWU/Sac tie would then need to be broken. Sac State’s sweep over EWU would give it the final berth.

* The Southern Utah at North Dakota and Sacramento State at Montana State games are Saturday afternoon, so the scenarios will clear up significantly by the time the EWU at Weber State game starts at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time. The Northern Arizona at Montana game is also at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

 

Quick Shots

* Now with 174 blocked shots for the season, the Eagles are just five away from the Big Sky Conference record of 179 set by Idaho State in the 2005-06 season. Having already shattered the school record for blocks, Eastern’s average of 5.8 per game leads the Big Sky and ranks 11th in NCAA Division I. Individual Eagles are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the league, with Venky Jois averaging 2.4 per game to rank 31st in NCAA Division I and Martin Seiferth averaging 2.3 to rank 40th. The previous school record was 130 in the 2005-06 season (4.3 average per game).

* Second-year Eastern head coach Jim Hayford won for the 279th time in his 400th game as a collegiate coach on March 7 when the Eagles beat Idaho State 87-73. He is currently 279-121 (69.8 percent) in 14 seasons as a head coach, including a 25-37 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.).

* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes gained sole possession of the school record for career games played when he played in his 120th game at Idaho State on March 7, a game in which he had a career-high eight assists. Also with a school-record 106 games started in his career, Forbes broke the previous records held by Marc Axton (2002-05) of 119 games played and 99 starts. Forbes became the 16th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points (he now has 1,020) in an 81-76 victory against Sam Houston State on Feb. 23. Forbes went over the 1,000-point mark with 2:39 left on a key 3-pointer that helped EWU maintain a nine-point lead. Later, he made a pair of free throws as EWU made 7-of-8 shots from the charity stripe in the final 54 seconds to hold off the Bearkats. He also ranks sixth in school history wit­­­h 119 career steals, and is also third in 3-pointers made (171) and second in attempts (464). Forbes started his school-record 100th game for the Eagles Feb. 9 at Northern Arizona, scoring 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 Sacramento State 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. In his career, Forbes has averaged 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He scored a career-high 24 points at UT Arlington as a freshman, and later that season had a career-high five steals versus Chicago State.

* Sophomore Parker Kelly out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane has averaged 14.3 points in his last seven games, including a new career high with 28 points – 22 in the second half – in EWU’s 87-73 win at Idaho State on March 7. His previous high was 19 in EWU’s come-from-behind 77-74 overtime win over Northern Arizona on Feb. 9. Versus NAU, 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. Kelly is now averaging 11.0 points per game in his last 24 games after scoring just 10 in the first five games he played. He has started 16 of the 28 games he has played this season, and is now averaging 9.5 points and 1.0 assists per game, while making a team-leading 55-of-136 3-point shots for 40.4 percent. He is currently ranked sixth in school history in career 3-point percentage (.421) and his 55 3-pointers this season is 13th.

* Continuing his recent hot stretch, redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey has scored 115 points (16.4 average) on 56 percent shooting from the field (46-of-82, including 16-of-38 3-point attempts) in EWU’s last seven games. In the first 13 games he played this season, Harvey scored just 17 points. He made the first start of his career against Sam Houston State on Feb. 23 in an 81-76 BracketBusters victory. He finished with seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots at point guard, including a pair of key blocked shots in the last 1:21 to help preserve a seven-point advantage. He followed that with 22 points, four assists and four rebounds against Northern Colorado on Feb. 28, then had 21 points, eight assists, three steals and four more rebounds versus North Dakota. Most recently, he scored 17 points in EWU’s 87-73 win at Idaho State on March 7 – including 15 in the first half to help the Eagles to an early 40-19 lead. He burst onto the scene on Feb. 9 at Northern Arizona when EWU was down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation. He 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. 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. In EWU’s next game versus Southern Utah, he helped preserve EWU’s 14-point win by scoring all 11 of his points in the last 6:10 of the game. He then scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half of EWU’s 89-80 loss at Portland State, including 11 in a 16-0 run that turned a 12-point halftime deficit into a three-point lead. Harvey had entered the NAU game having averaged just 4.8 minutes in the 13 games he had played thus far as an Eagle. He had made only 6-of-17 overall and 3-of-9 treys for the season prior to the NAU game.

* The Eagles have essentially had to play their last five games without starting point guard Kevin Winford. He suffered a blow to his shin against Southern Utah on Feb. 16 that resulted in compartment syndrome and required surgery the evening following the game. He has barely played since -- three seconds as a starter on Senior Day on March 2 versus North Dakota and two minutes at Idaho State on March 7. Winford was averaging 10.3 points and 4.2 assists in EWU’s last six games prior to the injury. Collin Chiverton, who is averaging 11.0 points in the 23 games he has played this season, did not play versus Idaho State on March 7 because of back spasms.

* Eastern ranks 11th in NCAA Division I in 3-pointers made per game (8.6) after a 14-of-26 performance in an 87-73 win at Idaho State on March 7. Eastern attempted a season-low 15 on Feb. 16 against Southern Utah, but one game earlier tied a school record for attempts in a 14-of-43 performance at NAU. The Eagles are averaging a league-leading 8.6 makes per game (total of 259) while attempting an average of 25.1 (total of 754). 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.

* Thus far, the Eagles have used 14 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 six freshmen/sophomores who each have started at least three games with a collective total of 93 starts this season (sophomores Parker Kelly and Martin Seiferth, redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey, and true freshmen Venky Jois, Thomas Reuter and Daniel Hill). Four times this season sophomores and freshmen have accounted for at least 75 percent of the team’s minutes. They accounted for 80 percent at North Dakota on Jan. 17, and 75 percent in both meetings against Portland State and at Idaho State on March 7. By contrast, 83 percent of PSU’s minutes against EWU on Feb. 23 were by seniors or juniors. The Vikings won that game 89-80.

* The Eagles are second in the Big Sky in offensive rebounds with an average of 11.1 per game (Southern Utah 12.0, Montana State 11.1). Martin Seiferth has a 2.7 average and Venky Jois is averaging 2.2 to rank second and sixth, 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 (171), Kevin Winford is fifth (138) and Collin Chiverton is sixth (133). In attempts, Forbes is second (464), Winford (409) is fifth and Chiverton is sixth (347). Chiverton is also 11th in career 3-point field goal percentage (.383), with sophomore Parker Kelly ranking sixth (.421)

* 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

* Six-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth had his third and fourth double-doubles of the season last week, including an effort of 14 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocked shots and two steals against North Dakota on March 2. One game earlier, he had 11 points, 21 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in EWU’s 88-80 overtime loss to Northern Colorado on Feb. 28. His rebounding total was the third-most in recorded school history, ranking only behind the 22 by Paul Butorac (11/18/06 versus Lewis-Clark State) and 28 by Dave Hayden (1/15/72 versus Oregon Tech). In his most recent outing against Idaho State on March 7, Seiferth finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks after playing just 19 minutes because of foul trouble. Seiferth broke his own school record when he had eight blocked shots in EWU’s 81-76 victory over Sam Houston State on Feb. 23, helping the Eagles to a school and Big Sky Conference record 16 as a team. Seiferth has made 62.1 percent of his shots from the field to rank second in the Big Sky and rank as the fourth-best single season performance in school history. Thus far, Seiferth is averaging 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds (sixth in the Big Sky) and 2.3 blocked shots per game (second in the Big Sky and 40th in NCAA Division I). His 68 blocked shots have moved him past teammate Venky Jois (now with 64) for the EWU single season record, and he now ranks sixth already on the career chart. Earlier this season he was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after finishing with 27 points, 17 rebounds and a school-record seven 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.

* 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 next three games before playing a total of 49 minutes in the next two. Jois has established himself as a bonafide contender for All-Big Sky Conference honors, as well as the league’s Freshman of the Year accolades. He has had nine double-doubles this season to lead the Big Sky and rank 68th in NCAA Division I, but he hasn’t had a double-double since before his injury when he had 20 points and 13 rebounds against Portland State on Jan. 28. He also is second in the league and ranks 43rd nationally in rebounding (9.0), and is 31st in the nation and tops in the Big Sky in blocked shots (2.4 per game). Now with 64 blocked shots this season, he originally broke the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006, but has since been passed by teammate Martin Seiferth (now with 68). Jois already ranks seventh on EWU’s career list. He is also 14th in the league in scoring (12.4) and ninth in field goal percentage (.496). Against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, Jois equaled the school record of seven blocked shots set earlier this season by Seiferth, but that record was broken on Feb. 23 when Seiferth had eight. Jois 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.

* Before essentially missing his last five games with compartment syndrome after a blow to the shin, senior point guard Kevin Winford was averaging 10.3 points and 4.2 assists in the last six games he played. He scored 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. But he suffered a shin injury against Southern Utah on Feb. 16, which required surgery later that night. He hasn’t played since, except for the first three seconds on Senior Day against North Dakota on March 2. Winford has started 47 of the 113 games he has played (fifth-most games played in school history), averaging 19.2 minutes per game. He has made 138-of-409 3-pointers in his career to rank fifth in school history in both categories, with a total of 704 points scored. 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.

* 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.

* Senior Collin Chiverton scored just 15 points in EWU’s first three outings this season, but he has bumped his average to 11.0 for the season. Chiverton, who missed EWU’s game at Idaho State on March 7 with back spasms, had a 20-point effort in just 18 minutes of action in an 81-76 victory over Sam Houston on Feb. 23. He made 7-of-10 shots from the field and 3-of-4 free throws in final 34 seconds of the game for his 15th 20-point performance of his career and his third of the season. He scored 18 points in just 10 minutes of action in EWU’s 86-72 win over Southern Utah on Feb. 16. He had 20 points against Montana State on Jan. 31, including Eastern’s final six in the last 1:21 of the 72-68 victory. 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. 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 1.9 points, 1.6 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in an average of 12.4 minutes per game (21 total games with three starts). 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 16 of EWU’s 30 games and is averaging 22.2 minutes, 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 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.

* Eastern broke a 21-year-old Big Sky Conference record with 16 blocked shots to help the Eagles to an 81-76 men’s basketball victory over Sam Houston State on Feb. 23. Sophomore Martin Seiferth had a school-record eight blocks in the game as the Eagles broke the previous league and school record of 13 set on three occasions, with the last coming in 1992. One of the performances was by the Eagles against Portland on Nov. 26, 1991. Earlier this season, Seiferth and true freshman Venky Jois had seven blocks against Cal State Northridge (11/12/12) and Northern Colorado (1/19/13), respectively, to break the previous record of six set back in 1987. Seiferth has 66 blocks for the season to shatter the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006, and Jois is now second with 64. On EWU career lists, Seiferth already ranks sixth and Jois is seventh. The Eagles have also shattered the team record with a current total of 172 blocks, with the previous EWU record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season. The Big Sky Conference record is 179 set by Idaho State in the 2005-06 season. “Venky and Martin are athletic players,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “They are a presence inside. They are a freshman and a sophomore, so we have to balance their athleticism with smarts and wisdom.”

* Eastern’s win over NAU on Feb. 9 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. Eastern won its second road game of the season with a wire-to-wire 87-73 victory over Idaho State on March 7.

* 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 41.0 percent clip (second in the BSC). EWU is now 9-5 when it holds opponents to 43.5 percent or less and 1-15 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.

* 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. Weber State Series Notes

* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 20-41 against Weber State (20-42 all-time). The Eagles are 14-15 in Cheney, 4-26 in Ogden and 2-0 on neutral courts versus the Wildcats since 1983-84. The only other game in the series was an 83-65 loss in Ogden on Dec. 14, 1978, making EWU 4-27 in Ogden all-time.

* Eastern has won the last four meetings and nine of the last 10. Until winning 75-59 in Ogden on March 2, 2011, the Eagles had lost the last five meetings. The Eagles have won 14 of the last 37 meetings after losing nine-straight from 1992-1996.

* Eastern has defeated the Wildcats three times in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament (72-53 in 2004, 62-57 in 2002 and 83-67 in 1990). Besides the 2011 victory, Eastern’s lone victories in Ogden came in 2006 (76-73), 2001 (81-70) and 2000 (90-78). In 2000, Eastern snapped the Wildcats' 30-game home winning streak, which at the time was the fourth longest in NCAA Division I.

 
 

Records Watch

* With 174 blocked shots as a team, the Eagles are just five behind the Big Sky Conference record of 179 set by Idaho State in the 2005-06 season. Earlier this season, Eastern broke the school record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season.

* Led by the school-record eight blocked shots by sophomore center Martin Seiferth, Eastern broke a 21-year-old Big Sky Conference record with 16 blocked shots on Feb. 23 in an 81-76 win over Sam Houston State. The Eagles broke the previous league and school record of 13 set on three occasions, with the last coming in 1992. One of the performances was by the Eagles against Portland on Nov. 26, 1991. Seiferth broke the record of seven both he and true freshman Venky Jois had earlier this season. Jois had seven against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, and Seiferth broke the previous school record that had stood for 25 years when he had seven at Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12 (Seiferth also has seven versus North Dakota on March 2). Seiferth, who also had 27 points and 17 rebounds in that game, broke the previous record of six set by Dexter Griffen versus Idaho State on Jan. 2, 1987. Seiferth’s 17 rebounds are the eighth-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. Later in the season, Seiferth had 21 rebounds against Northern Colorado on Feb. 28 to rank as the third-most in recorded school history behind the 22 by Paul Butorac (11/18/06 versus Lewis-Clark State) and 28 by Dave Hayden (1/15/72 versus Oregon Tech).

* Martin Seiferth has 68 blocked shots this season, breaking the previous school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. Seiferth already ranks sixth on EWU’s career list. In addition, Venky Jois has 64 blocks to rank second on EWU’s single season list and seventh on the career chart. Jois originally broke Butorac’s record but was surpassed on March 2 by Seiferth.

* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes has sole possession of the school record for career games with 120 to break the previous record of 119 held by Marc Axton (2002-05). The only two games Forbes has 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. Forbes broke the school record on Feb. 9 with his 100th game started, breaking the previous record of 99 set by Axton. Now a 106-game starter, Forbes has averaged 30.1 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He became the 16th Eastern player to go over the 1,000-point mark in his career when he had 11 points on Feb. 23 versus Sam Houston State, and now has 1,020 in his career to rank 15th. He ranks sixth in school history wit­­­h 119 career steals, just one from reaching No. 5. He is also third in 3-pointers made (171) and second in attempts (464). He is 13 makes and 35 attempts away from school records. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 86.5 percent (167-of-193), but he is 47 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 113 career games to rank fifth 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 409 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 133 3-pointers rank sixth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 347 attempts are sixth and his .383 percentage is currently 11th. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 139 of 190 games for a .732 winning percentage. His junior college and high school teams won 114 of 131 games (87 percent).

* Sophomore Parker Kelly has made 42.1 percent of his 3-point shots in his career (90-of-214) to currently rank sixth in school history. His 55 3-pointers in the 2012-13 season rank 13th on EWU’s single season list, just two from moving into 10th and three from the No. 9 position.

 
 

Recent Game Summaries

* Freshman redshirt Tyler Harvey and sophomore Parker Kelly combined for 45 points and 11 of Eastern’s 14 3-pointers made, and the Eagles stayed alive for a berth in the Big Sky Conference Tournament following their 87-73 romp past Idaho State March 7 in Pocatello, Idaho. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford won for the 279th time in his 400th game as a collegiate head coach. It was Eastern’s best scoring output of the year and second-largest margin of victory this season, trailing only the 23 points the Eagles won by against Northern Arizona on Jan. 10. The Eagles won for only the second time in 14 tries on opponent home courts this season. Harvey scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half, staking Eastern to an early 40-19 lead. Kelly had 22 of his points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers to open the second half that helped Eastern regain a 19-point lead. Harvey finished with five 3-pointers and Kelly had a career-high six, as EWU’s 14 treys were its third-highest of the season. Eastern’s previous season high point total was 86 against Southern Utah on Feb. 16. Eagle senior Jeffrey Forbes had a career-high eight assists as he earned sole possession of the school record for career games played, now with 120. Harvey also finished with a career-high eight rebounds and had seven assists, and Forbes had five points and four rebounds. Inside the paint, sophomore Martin Seiferth had 13 points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in just 19 minutes of action, and true freshman Venky Jois chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds. Senior Jordan Hickert came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and finish with six points and three rebounds.

* Eastern rallied from an early 14-point deficit, but was never able to take the lead and lost a Big Sky game to North Dakota 78-74 March 2 at Reese Court. Eastern had chances to tie or take the lead in the final 1 1/2 minutes, but could never completely overcome North Dakota’s early 24-10 advantage. A layup attempt that was deflected and went in with 25 seconds to play were the key points down the stretch for UND. The loss spoiled outstanding performances by sophomore Martin Seiferth and freshman redshirt Tyler Harvey. Seiferth had his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocked shots and a pair of steals. Harvey had 21 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Eagle senior Jeffrey Forbes made history on Senior Day at EWU, as he equaled the school record for career games played with 119. Eastern honored four players taking part in the final game of their careers at Reese Court – Forbes, Kevin Winford, Collin Chiverton and Jordan Hickert.  Chiverton scored 14 points in his final game at Reese Court, and Forbes had the 119th steal of his career. North Dakota junior Troy Huff poured in a career-high 34 points, including 24 in the first half alone. He entered the game with an 18.7 scoring average (19.2 in league games).

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

 
 

Quoting Coach Jim Hayford

On ISU Win: “This was a good win and it shows the character of our players. After the close, disappointing losses down the wire last week, we put in a great team effort. We’re really, really proud of them, and I’m a very happy coach.”

On Early 40-19 Lead and Contributions in ISU Win: “I thought our defense in the first 15 minutes was just outstanding and that set the tone. Tyler was shooting it well in the first half and Parker was shooting it like crazy in the second half. Those two players really played well. Jeffrey did a really good job of making the extra pass and had eight assists. Martin was saddled with foul trouble, but put together another complete game inside the paint while he was in there. When we needed some baskets and were getting some pressure, Venky made some baskets inside. And Jordan came in and hit a big 3 and gave us some good minutes. When you are start talking about that many players with a good game, that’s great. Up and down the roster we had players playing up to their ability, and that will make you very happy as a coach.”

On 3-Point Shooting Versus ISU: “They played 75 percent of their season in that zone, and we felt like we knew how to beat it -- and our guys did it. It’s one thing getting the shots, but it’s another thing to make them. We made them.”

On ISU’s Early 4-of-22 Free Throw Shooting Against EWU: “Whatever defense we used when they were at the foul line, we need to take with us to Weber State.”

On UND Loss: “It was another outstanding basketball game. Unfortunately, our opponent was one point better. We grinded to get there, but I’m really heartbroken for our players. We would have liked to have a storybook ending for the seniors, but unfortunately it didn’t happen that way. We are going to keep working hard so that in the future we’re the team that is one possession better in these big games. We battled – we really, really battled.”

On Big Sky Blocked Shots Record: “To block 16 shots in one game -- I have never seen anything like that in my life. For us to shoot 61 percent from the field shows how we are really improving. Our theme for that game was great effort, great execution and great efficiency. When you look at us offensively, you see all three of those things.”

On Tyler Harvey’s Starting Debut Versus Sam Houston: “The best thing Tyler did today was have eight defensive rebounds. Part of that was chasing down blocked shots. Tyler continues to step up and seize the opportunity. There is a lot of pressure on a freshman point guard that started off as the fourth-string point guard at the beginning of the year. I am very proud of him. He is an outstanding teammate as his teammates will say.”

On NAU Win After Trailing by 18 Late in the Game: “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 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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