November 21, 2006

Eagles Use 20-0 Run In Rout

Nov. 21, 2006

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Sophomore Rodney Stuckey, freshman Brandon Moore and junior Omar Krayem combined for 70 points as Eastern Washington pounded The Evergreen State 106-65 in a non-conference men's basketball game Tuesday (Nov. 21) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

The Eagles used a 20-0 run over a 5 1/2 minute span in the first half to open a 31-6 lead over the NAIA foe. The Eagles, who finished the game making 61 percent of their shots from the field, made 13 of their first 16 shots while the Geoducks made just two of their first 16.

Eastern is now 2-2 heading into Friday's (Nov. 24) game at nationally-ranked Washington. The Geoducks fell to 2-3.

"Getting these last two wins before we go face Washington is huge for us," said Eagle head coach Mike Burns. "It's very important that we won those games and they were good because it gave us a chance to play all of our guys."

Eastern's 106 points equaled its 17th-most in school history, and the most since Eastern scored 112 in a 112-86 win over Cascade College on Dec. 29, 1999.

"This may have been our best game thus far. But when we get down the road another three weeks or so and we have played some good basketball teams, I think we will have a better feel for that," said Burns, whose team lost to UNLV 82-79 and Gonzaga 90-75 in its two games versus NCAA Division I opponents. "I thought the last six or seven minutes in Vegas was the best we have played so far this year."

Stuckey finished with 26 points, five rebounds and three assists as he led the Eagles in scoring for the 31st-straight game. The last time he didn't lead Eastern in scoring came on Nov. 25, 2005, when Jake Beitinger scored 17 in a loss to Southern California.

Moore, a 6-foot-9 center and 2005 graduate of Bethel High School in Graham, Wash., had 23 points and eight rebounds in his third game as an Eagle. He made 8-of-10 shots from the field, including five dunks.

"Brandon Moore had to make some plays in there for us and I thought he did very good tonight," said Burns. "When he was given opportunities he took advantage of them. He has a knack for being around the basketball and being able to make good plays. That's what he did tonight."

Krayem, a transfer from Lower Columbia Community College, had 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting with four three-pointers. He also had a team-high five assists.

Kellen Williams chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Hinton made 8-of-12 free throws on his way to a 15-point night. Freshman Michael Taylor added eight points, five assists and four steals. Neal Zumwalt led all rebounders with 10 as Eastern held a commanding 48-26 advantage on the boards.

Eastern, which had been averaging more than 20 turnovers per game in its first three outings, had just 12 on Tuesday. The Eagles held The Evergreen State to 35.7 percent shooting from the field.

Eastern led by as many as 29 points in the first half before settling for a 59-34 halftime lead. Eastern held several more leads of 29 points in the second half before Evergreen State pulled to within 21 in the second half. But Eastern pulled away, with its largest lead being the final margin of 41 points.

Three Eagles -- Paul Butorac, Matt Penoncello and Derek Risper missed the game for a violation of team rules. All three had started each of the team's first three games, but their production was more than filled by the eight Eagles who played between 15 and 34 minutes against the Geoducks.

"We were given the opportunity to play a lot of guys tonight," said Burns. "These are hard games because if you start off by building a substantial lead, like we did, it is sometimes difficult to maintain focus, which was the case tonight. We wanted to work on the little things like making the extra pass and rotating defensively. At times we did those things very well."

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