Eagles at Sac State Trying to Snap Skid

Eagles seek to keep Big Sky Conference Tournament hopes alive when they play at last-place Hornets


Upcoming Schedule

Date - Opponent - Spokane Radio Station - Time/Pacific
Feb. 7 - at Sacramento State - 1050am - 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 12 - vs. Montana State at Reese Court - 1050am - 7:30 p.m. (note time change)
Feb. 14 - vs. Montana at Reese Court - 1510am - 1:05 p.m. -
Televised regionally on Altitude Sports & Entertainment

Eagles on TV/Radio/Webcasts . . .
All EWU home games will be televised live and/or delayed on SWX in Spokane (SWX Digital 6.2, Cheney Cable 12, Comcast 115, Time Warner 306, Charter 287). Eagle Radio Broadcasts home and away in 2009-10 may be heard live, and stations in Spokane/Cheney that may be used are 1510-AM, 1050-AM or 790-AM. The audio and video of home games is available via WWW.BIGSKYTV.ORG, which also broadcasts the audio and video of EWU road games against all other BSC opponents.

The Eastern Washington University men's basketball team desperately needed a victory when they played Sacramento State the first time this season back on Dec. 31.

They got it then, and this Sunday (Feb. 7), Eastern will need another.

The Eagles try to snap a six-game losing streak when they play the Hornets in Sacramento at 1:05 p.m. Pacific time. The radio broadcast of the game may be heard in the Spokane area on 1050am.

The outcome is pivotal for both teams and their hopes for a berth in the six-team Big Sky Conference Tournament.

"I'm not fond of that quote-unquote must-win game, or putting that tag on anything," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine.  "But that's where we are and there is no way around it. We have to go to Sacramento and play well -- or even play poorly -- we just need to win. We have to find a way to come away with at least one more point than them."

Eastern had a five-game losing streak when the Hornets and Eagles met in Cheney, with freshman Glen Dean and senior Mark Dunn combining for 55 points in a 79-75 win. Eastern opened the game with a 13-0 run, and had led by as many as 16 points in each half as Dean tied the school record with seven three-pointers in 12 attempts.

But the Eagles have won just once since then, and are now 2-7 in the Big Sky and 6-17 overall. Sacramento State is 8-15 overall and 2-8 in the league, and hosts Portland State on Friday (Feb. 5) before taking on the Eagles. The Hornets knocked off Idaho State in Pocatello 72-55 in their most recent outing on Jan. 30.

"They went into Idaho State and beat them by 17," said Earlywine. "They are playing much better."

With three freshmen now in their starting lineup --Dean, Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford -- Eastern hasn't won since beating Montana State 75-73 on Jan. 10 on a basket with 3.8 seconds remaining by Dean. Since then, four of EWU's losses have been decided by six points or less. So far this season, 12 of 23 Eastern games have been decided by six points or less, including the four prior to falling by 22 at Weber State on Jan. 23. EWU is 4-8 in those 12 nail-biters.

One of those close decisions came on Monday (Feb. 2) in a 68-62 loss at Seattle. Eastern took a 58-55 lead with 3:05 to play on a three-pointer by Winford, but didn't score in the next 2 1/2 minutes during Seattle's game-sealing 8-0 run. The Redhawks clinched the win by making 9-of-9 free throws in the final 1:49.

"They were 3-of-18 from the arc with a lot bunch of really good looks," Earlywine said of his trio of freshmen guards. "They are good shooters and shoot a high percentage, but four or five of their shots were in and came out. It was one of those nights, and you have to be tough enough in your mind to overcome those kinds of things. We weren't."

Forbes and Winford both made only 1-of-7 three-pointers in the game, but their makes came at crucial times. The trey by Forbes gave EWU a 45-43 lead mid-way through the second half.

"The one big positive in my mind was that we had two freshmen who were having really bad shooting nights who had enough intestinal fortitude -- enough guts -- to jump up and take big shots and make them," added Earlywine. "That's a really good sign for down the road, I believe."

Two days before that, Eastern suffered an 85-77 home loss to Portland State on Jan. 30. Eastern was out-scored 40-18 in the final 15 minutes after taking a 14-point lead with 15:33 remaining.


Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
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

Recent EWU Men's Basketball Headlines . . .
February 1, 2010 - Eagles Lose Another Close One, 68-62 to Seattle
January 30, 2010 - Eagles Lose Lead and Fall to Portland State 85-77
January 23, 2010 - League-Leading Weber State Romps Past Eagles 89-67
January 22, 2010 - Eastern Loses at Idaho State 80-74 in Another Close One
January 16, 2010 - Northern Colorado Rallies For 74-71 Win
January 15, 2010 - Eastern Falls Late to Lumberjacks 73-69
January 10, 2010 - Glen Dean Hits Game Winner Against League Leaders
January 8, 2010 - Eagles Fall to Grizzlies 79-66
January 8, 2010 - Glen Dean and Julie Piper are Scholar-Athletes of the Month
December 31, 2009 - Dean and Dunn Lead Eagles Past Sacramento State
December 28, 2009 - Gonzaga Grounds Eagles 94-52
December 23, 2009 - Eastern Drops Fourth-Straight With 72-67 Loss
December 22, 2009 - Eagles Roll 62-53 Loss to Chicago State in Las Vegas
December 19, 2009 - Eagles Thumped by Brigham Young 91-34
December 17, 2009 - Eagles Lose Nip-and-Tuck Game 73-70
December 12, 2009 - Eagles Prevail 100-97 in Overtime Versus Seattle
December 5, 2009 - Eastern Dealt 98-75 Loss by Portland State in BSC Opener
December 1, 2009 - Eastern Romps Past Walla Walla 89-61
November 28, 2009 - Eagles Drop 76-54 Decision to Idaho
November 24, 2009 - Eastern Falls at Home to Boise State 82-69
November 21, 2009 - Freshman Jeffrey Forbes Scores 24 in Eagle Win
November 17, 2009 - Eastern Survives for 100-88 Victory Over Whitman
November 16, 2009 - Eagles Start and Finish Fast, But Fall to Cougars 67-61
November 14, 2009 - Eastern Loses Opener to Portland 64-58
October 23, 2009 - SEASON OUTLOOK



Dean Leading Candidate for Big Sky Freshman of the Year: Newcomer Glen Dean is a leading candidate for Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year honors as he leads the Eagles in scoring, assists and three-point shooting, and ranks among the Big Sky leaders in all three.

Dean has an 11.9 scoring average as to rank 13th in the Big Sky, and his average of 4.3 assists per game is now second. He is also sixth in the Big Sky in three-point field goal percentage (43.7 percent). In Big Sky Conference play, Dean is averaging 5.3 assists to lead the BSC in league-only statistics, and his 15.2 scoring average is ninth. He has made 19-of-37 treys (51.4 percent to rank second) and 22-of-28 free throws (78.6 percent to rank 11th). He was selected as Eastern's male recipient of the December Scholar-Athlete of the Month Award, and currently has a 3.85 grade point average at EWU.

Dean equaled his season high with 10 assists at Portland State on Jan. 30, giving him his second double-double of the year as he also had 10 points. However, eight of his assists came in the first half as foul trouble limited him to just eight minutes in the second half. Worst of all, he had to sit out most of the stretch when PSU overcame a 14-point deficit by out-scoring EWU 40-18 in the final 15 minutes.

In EWU's last victory on Jan. 10 versus Montana State, Dean finished with 23 points, seven assists and a career-high six rebounds. He made a game-winning, six-foot running bank shot with 3.8 seconds to play. Against Sacramento State on Dec. 31, Dean scored 29 points as he made 8-of-17 shots from the field and 6-of-7 free throws, and had seven assists and just two turnovers in 34 minutes of action. He tied the school record with seven three-pointers in 12 attempts, equaling the mark set on 11 previous occasions by five other players.

"He was outstanding (against Montana State)," Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said of the 2008 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Wash. "He gets a little better and we get a little better. We give him a little bit more each week and he's just a sponge -- he absorbs it. He never lets down with his level of competiveness."

Dean had 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 10 assists in Eastern's three-point loss at Nevada on Dec. 17. He equaled the 14th-best recorded assists total in school history, and was the most since Rodney Stuckey (now with Detroit Pistons) had 10 versus Idaho State on Feb. 22, 2007.


Dunn Having Impressive Senior Season: Senior Mark Dunn ranks second on the team with an 11.2 scoring average to rank 17th in the Big Sky Conference, and he ranks among the league leaders in several other categories.

Dunn is shooting a team-best 49.2 percent from the field, which ranks 12th in the league. He has showed a deft touch from the outside by making 18-of-43 three-point shots for 41.9 percent, including 9-of-18 in league play (50.0 percent to rank third in the BSC). He has made 82.0 percent of his free throws (50-of-61) to rank sixth in the BSC, and in league play he has made 21-of-23 for 91.3 percent (third in league games only statistics).

Dunn has scored at least 20 points four times this season -- Whitman (21 on 11/17/09), Walla Walla (23 on 12/1/09), Seattle (21 on 12/12/09) and Sacramento State (26 on 12/31/09). He also had 17 points versus Washington State on Nov. 16, making 7-of-9 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 three-point attempts. The next night he made 7-of-12 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws to finish with 21 points versus Whitman.

Before this season, his previous career high was 14 points in games against Montana and Weber State last season on his way to an average of 5.6 points per game as a 24-game starter. However, he made only 2-of-11 three-pointers in his first 31 games as an Eagle. He helped lead Danville Area Junior College to a fourth-place finish at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament as a sophomore in the 2007-08 season. He averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds that season, with a season-high of 19. As a freshman, he averaged four points and four boards.


Forbes Averaging 12.3 Points in League Play: Freshman Jeffrey Forbes is one of three freshmen guards playing big minutes for the Eagles, and is currently averaging 12.3 points in nine Big Sky Conference games to rank 16th in league-only statistics. The 2009 graduate of Federal Way (Wash.) High School is averaging 10.0 points overall (23rd in the league) as he has started 21 of 23 games this season. He leads the Eagles with an average of 30.6 minutes per game (34.6 in league play).

Although he has made only 39.2 percent of his shots overall and 28.2 percent from the three-point arc this season, those percentages have increased to 45.9 and 37.8, respectively, in league play. His free throw shooting has been steady all year, making a team-best 87.0 percent (40-of-46) that would rank third the league had he met the minimum of two free throws made per game. In league games only, Forbes has made 19-of-21 shots from the charity stripe for 90.5 percent to rank fifth in league-only statistics.

His best scoring performance came in his fourth collegiate game when he had 24 points in a 72-68 victory at Texas Arlington on Nov. 21. He has scored in double figures in his last five league games, including a high of 15 against Portland State on Jan. 30.

Glen Dean and Kevin Winford are EWU's other two freshmen guards. Winford is averaging 7.0 points per game, including a 20-point effort versus Idaho State on Jan. 22 when he made 8-of-18 shots from the field with four three-pointers.


Brandon Moore Moves Into Fourth on Career Rebounding List, Eighth in Games Played: Eastern Washington University senior 6-foot-9 center Brandon Moore has moved up on EWU's career leaders lists in both rebounding and games played, and is just one blocked shot from moving up on that list as well.

His current games played total is 109 (with 64 starts) to rank sixth, with Brian Sullivan (111 from 1988-91) the next player to catch. Moore has 910 career points, as well as 640 rebounds to rank fourth in school history (Randy Buss is third with 858 from 1970-72). His 78 career blocked shots ranks him third in school history (Chris White is second with 79 from 1998-01).

Moore played in his 100th game as an Eagle at Gonzaga on Dec. 28. He is only the 12th player in EWU's 102-year basketball history to play that many games, with Marc Axton (2002-05) owning the school record of 119. If Moore plays in all of EWU's remaining regular season games, he would rank third in school history with 116. Paul Butorac (2004-07) and John Garrison (1987-91) each played in 113 games, and Alvin Snow (2001-04) played in 118.

A 2005 graduate of Bethel High School in Graham, Wash., Moore is currently leading the Big Sky in rebounding with an average of 7.6 per game. He is also averaging 8.9 points per game as he has started his senior season with five double-doubles thus far.

He was selected as the co-Big Sky Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 14, sharing the honor with Portland State's Phil Nelson. It's the first such honor of Moore's EWU career. Moore had a career-best 26-point effort against Seattle University on Dec. 12 in which he made 10-of-19 shots from the field and 6-of-7 free throws in the 100-97 overtime win. Four of his points came in a 7-0 run in overtime, and he also finished the game with 11 rebounds and a career-high four assists. His previous career high for points came as a freshman against The Evergreen State with 23 points.

But Moore struggled after the Seattle game, averaging only 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game during EWU's five-game losing streak that followed. In league play thus far, Moore had made only 36.8 percent of his shots (28-of-76).

Now with 11 double-doubles in his career, Moore had the seventh and eighth double-doubles of his career en route to having a combined 29 points and 32 rebounds in a roughly 26-hour span in November. He had 10 points and 13 rebounds in a 67-61 loss to Washington State on Nov. 16, and then had 19 points and 19 rebounds the next night in a 100-88 win over Whitman.

Moore's 19 rebounds ranks as the third-best performance in recorded school history. His previous career high for rebounds was 14 versus Portland State on Feb. 28, 2009. He also tied his career-high with five blocked shots against the Missionaries, equaling the second-best recorded performance in school history.


Trends: Eastern has improved its offensive output from last year, but so has its opponents. Eastern is averaging 69.3 points per game this year (63.5 last year), compared to 77.8 for opponents (68.5 last year).

Eastern's shooting percentages have gradually improved this season, and Eastern has now made 41.7 percent this season (41.8 last year), and 34.0 percent from three-point range (32.4 last year). Eastern is 5-5 when it makes at least 46 percent of its shots, and is 1-12 when it makes 45 percent or less, with the lone victory coming against Sacramento State on Dec. 31. Eastern opponents have made 47.6 percent of their shots thus far (46.7 last year), including shooting performances of 69 percent by PSU (12/5/09) and 64 percent by BYU (12/19/09).


Hitting the Century Mark: The Whitman game on Nov. 17 was the 61st time in school history that Eastern has scored 100 points in a game. Eastern then scored 100 in a 100-97 overtime victory over Seattle University on Dec. 12.

Before this season, the last time EWU hit the century mark came in a 100-85 victory over Sacramento State on Jan. 25, 2007, in which current Detroit Piston Rodney Stuckey scored 31 points. Eastern had four 100-point performances that season and averaged 84.2 points per game as Stuckey finished his sophomore season with an average of 24.6 points per game.



EWU-Sacramento State Series History: The Eagles have won the last eight meetings dating back to an 88-69 Hornet victory on Jan. 7, 2006, in Sacramento. Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 24-7 versus Sacramento State, and the two schools did not play against each other prior to that.

The Eagles have won 17 of their last 20 games against the Hornets, and have a 15-1 record versus Sacramento State in Cheney and a 9-6 record in Sacramento. Eastern has won the last 14 meetings at home against Sac State, dating back to a 68-67 Hornet victory on Jan. 19, 1995.


Earlier This Season . . .Dean and Dunn Lead Eagles Past Sacramento State: Freshman Glen Dean and senior Mark Dunn combined for 55 points as Eastern Washington University held-off Sacramento State 79-75 Dec. 31 in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern opened the game with a 13-0 run, and had led by as many as 16 points in each half as it snapped a five-game losing streak and won its first league game of the year.

 "I'm not sure if it was a must-win, but it was a really, really important win for us," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine.

Dean scored 29 points as he made 8-of-17 shots from the field and 6-of-7 free throws, and had seven assists and just two turnovers in 34 minutes of action. He tied the school record with seven three-pointers in 12 attempts, equaling the mark set on 11 previous occasions by five other players.

"The thing about it is that he does it every day and every bounce of the ball," said Earlywine. "He and Jeffrey Forbes compete. Their level of competiveness is high and that's what allows them to play so many minutes."

Dunn made 9-of-14 shots from the field and all six of his free throws to finish with 26 points. He also had nine rebounds as both he and Dean finished with the best scoring games in their careers.

EWU improved to 5-10 overall as it snapped a five-game losing streak. It was EWU's second league game of the season, having lost 98-75 at Portland State on Dec. 5 in Eastern's earliest Big Sky start in school history.



Quartet of Eagles Return to Puget Sound: Eagles Glen Dean, Jeffrey Forbes, Abebe Demissie and Brandon Moore returned to the Puget Sound area to play Seattle on Feb. 1. Dean is a 2008 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, and Demissie graduated the same year from Rainier Beach. Forbes is a 2009 graduate of Federal Way (Wash.) High School and Brandon Moore graduated in 2005 from Bethel High School in Graham, Wash.

Three of the Eagles won WIAA titles as seniors during their high school careers. Moore led Bethel to the 4A title in 2005, Demissie helped Rainier Beach win the 3A title in 2008 and Forbes contributed toward a Federal Way triumph in the 4A ranks in 2009.


EWU Season Recap Thus Far -- Eastern opened the season with a 64-58 loss to Portland on Nov. 14 after a pair of exhibition wins (98-61 over Saint Martin's and 67-58 over Montana State-Billings). The Eagles lost by just six points despite making only 32 percent from the field (15-of-47), allowing Portland to make 7-of-13 three-pointers and getting out-rebounded 37-24.

"I liked our shots -- we just didn't make them," said head coach Kirk Earlywine. "It's hard to win when you compound getting out-rebounded with giving up 54 percent from the arc and pile on top of that shooting 32 percent. Really, it's surprising that we were in the game with a chance."

The Eagles followed that with a 67-61 loss at Pacific 10 Conference member Washington State. The Eagles, who had a 17-9 lead early in the game, rallied with a 15-5 run late in the game to pull within one at 62-61 with 1:04 left. But the Cougars sandwiched a three-pointer and two free throws in the final 44 seconds around an Eagle turnover to score the final five points of the game.

The following night in a 100-88 helter-skelter victory over NCAA Division III Whitman College, Eastern made 50 percent of its shots from the field, had a 54-35 rebounding advantage and scored 56 points inside the paint. However, EWU finished with 30 turnovers to come one away from the school record of 31 against Washington in 1995. The game included 49 total turnovers, 56 total fouls (30 by Whitman) and 79 total free throws.

Despite playing its fourth game in eight days, the Eagles registered a 72-68 road victory at Texas Arlington on Nov. 21. Freshman Jeffrey Forbes had 24 points as the Eagles led from start to finish, opening a 16-point lead in the first half.

The Eagles followed that with an 82-69 home loss to Boise State as the Broncos took a 10-0 lead with eight early fast-break points. After BSU led by 14 at halftime, Eastern cut the lead to one in the second half. But eight-straight Bronco points helped put the lead out of reach as they equaled their biggest lead of 14 twice.

The Idaho game on Nov. 28 followed a similar pattern as the Eagles fell behind by scores of 12-3 and 36-15, and trailed at halftime 45-23. Both teams scored 31 points in the second half, and the game earlier EWU actually out-scored Boise State 39-38 after intermission.

The Eagles led from start to finish in their 89-61 victory on Dec. 1 against Walla Walla University, with Mark Dunn scoring 17 of his 23 points in the first half. In the following game against Portland State on Dec. 5, the Eagles had no answer for the 69 percent shooting night by Portland State and fell 98-75. The Vikings made 33-of-48 shots in the game, including a blistering 16-of-21 in the first half as EWU allowed its most points in nearly three years. Portland State used a 12-0 run in the first half to take the lead for good, and then scored 10 unanswered points in the second half to pull away.

The Eagles followed the PSU game with a week off, and then recorded a 100-97 overtime home victory over Seattle University on Dec. 12. The game featured 12 lead changes and seven ties, and the final time the game was knotted was at 87-all with 3:01 to play in overtime. But EWU's Glen Dean hit a driving layin, followed by a pair of baskets by Brandon Moore. Dean closed the 7-0 run with a free throw to give EWU a 94-87 advantage with 1:09 to play. Eastern, which had forced the overtime with a basket with 10 seconds to play in regulation by Dunn, closed the scoring in overtime with a pair of free throws by Kevin Winford with seven seconds left.

Eastern didn't have the same late-game magic against Nevada on Dec. 17, as Nevada's Brandon Fields nailed a three-pointer with 4.3 seconds to play to defeat Eastern 73-70. Dean, who finished with 13 points and 10 assists for the Eagles, missed a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer in a game that featured 15 ties and seven lead changes. Eastern missed four of its last five shots, including a pair with the game knotted at 70.

The Eagles then followed with a 91-34 loss at BYU. The Eagles scored the first basket against the Cougars, and then were out-scored 33-0 over the next 10 minutes. Eastern was out-shot 64 percent to 27 percent, and were out-rebounded 45-17. The 57-point setback was not the worst in school history -- EWU lost at New Mexico by 59 points, 121-62, on Dec. 3, 1993.

In a pair of neutral site games at the Las Vegas Classic, Eastern fell to Chicago State 62-53 and then lost to Jackson State 72-67. Eastern made only 28 percent of its shots against the Cougars, which used runs of 12-0 and 9-0 in the first half to take a 34-20 lead at intermission. Jackson State used a late 10-0 run to register its first victory in 11 games in the 2009-10 season.

The Eagles lost their fifth-straight game at nationally-ranked Gonzaga on Dec. 28, losing 94-52 after falling behind 53-25 at halftime. Eastern connected on just 28.8 percent of their shots from the field against Gonzaga, including just 4-of-24 behind the arc for 16.7 percent. Eastern was out-rebounded 56-35 in the game and had 16 turnovers in the first half, leading to 24 Gonzaga points off turnovers.

The Eagles snapped their losing streak when Dean and Dunn combined for 55 points in a 79-75 win over Sacramento State on Dec. 31. Eastern opened the game with a 13-0 run, and had led by as many as 16 points in each half as Dean tied the school record with seven three-pointers in 12 attempts.

A 79-66 loss at Montana followed, as the Grizzlies broke away from a 53-all tie in the second half. The game featured 12 ties and eight lead changes to that point, but the difference in the game was EWU's 22 turnovers compared to just seven for the Grizzlies. Montana scored 32 points off turnovers.

Two days after the Montana loss, Dean hit a running six-foot bank shot with 3.8 seconds remaining to lift the Eagles to a 75-73 upset over Montana State Jan. 10 at Worthington Arena in Bozeman, Mont. Dean scored 23 points, and also led the team with seven assists and six rebounds as Eastern recorded just its second road win in 11 tries.

But the Eagles followed with a pair of home losses, losing to Northern Arizona in a game that featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes, with the largest lead by either squad five points. One night later, the Eagles led by 15 in the first half against Northern Colorado, and then allowed the Bears to go on a 15-0 run to knot the score. Northern Colorado made its game-winning points with 22 seconds left after NAU hit its game-winner with 31 ticks of the clock remaining.

Eastern's losing streak increased to four games with road losses to Idaho State (80-74) and Weber State (89-67). The Idaho State game featured 14 lead changes and eight ties, but the Bengals took the lead for good with 6:22 to play. The next night, the Wildcats opened a 10-0 lead and led the entire way.

Eastern returned home to lose its fifth-straight game, falling 85-77 to Portland State. Eastern took a 59-45 lead early in the second half, but was out-scored 40-18 the final 15 minutes of the game. Eastern's sixth-straight loss came on Feb. 2 in a 68-62 loss at Seattle. Eastern took a 58-55 lead with 3:05 to play on a three-pointer by Winford, but didn't score in the next  2 1/2 minutes during Seattle's game-sealing 8-0 run. The Redhawks clinched the win by making 9-of-9 free throws in the final 1:49.



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