Now 4-1 this season, six players score in double figures as Eagles score most points against a NCAA Division I opponent in seven years
Junior Parker Kelly from Spokane, Wash., started out red hot, then was joined by his teammates
Six players scored in double figures as the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team opened a 28-1 lead and cruised past LIU Brooklyn 102-70 Saturday (Nov. 23) in Irvine, Calif., in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. It was the second of three games in three days for the Eagles in the tourney.
Eastern had five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes to open its 28-1 lead, with Kelly hitting three of them and having 11 of those points. The 102 points Eastern scored was its most against a NCAA Division I opponent since beating Cal State Fullerton 110-100 on Nov. 27, 2006. Rodney Stuckey, who now plays for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, scored 27 points in that game.
Eastern remains on top of the Big Sky standings with a 4-1 record on the season, The Blackbirds, picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference, are now 2-2.
“It was a complete game turned in by everyone,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “I am really pleased with the focus and discipline of our players.”
The Eagles wrap up the tournament on Sunday (Nov. 24) when EWU plays host UC Irvine at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast by 700-AM ESPN, with Dennis Patchin calling the play-by-play in place of Larry Weir, who handled play-by-play of EWU’s football game this weekend.
Kelly finished the game with a team-high 17 points, as did sophomore Venky Jois. Sophomore Tyler Harvey added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and junior point guard Brandon Harvey finished with 13 points and seven assists. Junior Martin Seiferth scored 12 points and sophomore Thomas Reuter added 13.
Eastern finished the game making 11-of-17 3-pointers for 65 percent, and sank 64 percent of its shots overall. Eastern held the Blackbirds to 35 percent shooting and dominated rebounding by a 40-29 margin.
The Eagles led 54-29 at halftime and led by as many as 37 in the second half.
Following Sunday’s game, Eastern plays a home game with Seattle on Friday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. at Reese Court. The Redhawks, who were 8-22 a year ago, are currently 2-2 with wins over Cal State Fullerton and The Evergreen State, and losses to Washington and Boise State. Seattle hosts UC Riverside on Nov. 25 prior to taking on the Eagles.
West Coach Conference powerhouse Saint Mary’s will usher in an equally difficult month of December. Eastern travels to Moraga, Calif., on Dec. 8. to play the Gaels, who were 28-7 overall and 14-2 in the WCC in 2008.