Nov. 23, 2007
The Eastern Washington University men's basketball team played well again in the second half, but came up short down the stretch as the Eagles lost 61-53 to Michigan in the consolation bracket of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Friday (Nov. 23) at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska.
Senior Kellen Williams led the Eagles with 13 points and seven rebounds -- including several key offensive boards in the second half -- as EWU rallied from a 34-21 deficit at intermission. Eastern trailed by as many as 15 points before pulling to within 54-53 with 1:27 left, but the Big 10 Conference foe closed the game by making 7-of-8 free throws to clinch in the victory.
Eastern, which outscored the Wolverines 32-27 in the second half, missed its last six shots and gave up two offensive rebounds to Michigan in the last 1:06. The Wolverines are now 3-2 while EWU fell to 1-5.
The Eagles now face host Alaska-Anchorage in the consolation game for seventh and eighth places on Saturday (Nov. 24). The Eastern's game begins at 1 p.m. Pacific time and may be heard in the Spokane area on KGA 1510-AM and via the internet at http://www.1510kga.com. The Seawolves are 2-2 after falling to Western Kentucky 71-67 in Friday's other consolation bracket game.
Against Michigan, Eastern followed a familiar trend of falling behind by large margins in the first half only to rally in the second half. Eastern has trailed at halftime in all six of its games thus far, and has been outscored in the first half 186-115. In the second half, Eastern has been outscored by just nine points, 203-194, with advantages after intermission in three of six games.
In a 69-52 loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Eastern was only outscored 39-34 after intermission after falling behind by 12 at halftime (30-18). The previous two games Eastern outscored its opponents in the second half -- 41-37 in an 82-68 loss at Washington and 37-18 in a 59-51 home victory over UC Riverside.
Shooting was Eastern's major inconsistency as the Eagles made only 32 percent of its shots in the game, including only 2-of-11 three-pointers (18 percent) in the first half and 6-of-13 (46 percent) in the second half.
Michigan made 35 percent of its shots in the game, including 27 percent of its shots in the second half after shooting 43 percent in the first half. Both teams had 36 rebounds.
Senior Marcus Hinton came off the bench to finish with eight points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. True freshman Trey Gross, who scored 18 in Eastern's loss to Virginia Tech, had just three points against the Wolverines on 1-of-6 shooting from the field. He had four assists and Gary Gibson contributed a game-high five assists.
Freshman redshirt Jack Loofburrow, who had missed EWU's first five games with a foot injury, made his Eagle debut against Michigan. He played five minutes and made 1-of-3 three-point field goal attempts and had a turnover.
Manny Harris led Michigan with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ron Coleman chipped in 14 points and seven boards.