With just seven healthy players again, Eastern improves to 2-2 with road win in fourth game in eight days
When the going got tough, it got easier for true freshman Jeffrey Forbes as he scored 24 points for the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team Saturday (Nov. 21) in a 72-68 road win against Texas Arlington.
It was the fourth game in eight days for the 2-2 Eagles. Eastern returns home to Reese Court on Tuesday (Nov. 24) to face former Big Sky Conference rival Boise State in a 7:05 p.m. game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
In just his fourth collegiate game after helping Federal Way (Wash.) High School to the 2009 State 4A Championship, Forbes made 10-of-16 shots from the field. He also had five rebounds, two steals and just one turnover in 34 minutes of action.
Eastern led from start to finish after opening an early 16-point lead. The Mavericks cut the lead to three with 50 seconds to play, but a free throw by Fobes and a fastbreak layin by Benny Valentine put the game away for the EWU. Texas Arlington fell to 1-2 with the loss despite a 32-point effort by senior Marquez Haynes.
"The game was really fast and UTA is really athletic, so we had trouble running some of our offensive sets," explained Earlywine. "So it turned into a read and react basketball game, and Jeffrey's athleticism, speed and quickness was certainly a contributing factor. He was able to get to the rim.
"He was able to play fast, but he did it for 34 minutes and had just one turnover," added Earlywine. "It was a sign of growth for a young freshman. It was good to see him do that, and we needed every bit of it."
Newcomer Alden Gibbs added a season-high 11 points and three steals for the Eagles, and Mark Dunn had 11 points and five rebounds. Brandon Moore chipped in a game-high nine rebounds and six points.
Eastern played its second-straight game without injured starters Kevin Winford (concussion) and Matthew Brunell (sprained ankle). Eastern had just seven healthy players, but injured Abebe Demissie (hamstring) played three minutes and contributed a huge three-pointer in the second half.
"It was terrific win and a real step forward for our team," added Earlywine, whose team sat on a plane Friday for two hours on its way to Arlington. "We went on the road for a game with a two-hour time difference; we played with seven healthy players and were missing two starters; and we have freshmen and they have seniors . . . I can go-on-and on with a long list of things we had going against us."
Last year Eastern defeated Texas Arlington 73-70 at home in a game that featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes. Current Valentine led the way with 28 points and Moore had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in that game.
Boise State was 2-1 heading into Saturday night's game at Wyoming, defeating Loyola Marymount (90-87) and North Dakota (75-60), but losing on the road at Montana (95-82).
Last Year's Eastern-Boise State Game Was a Microcosm of the Season -- Struggling from both the field and from the free throw line, the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team fell to Boise State 57-48 Dec. 29, 2008, at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho, in EWU's final non-conference game before the resumption of Big Sky Conference play.
The Eagles made only 32 percent of their shots (19-of-60) from the field, and at one point in the first half missed 12-straight shots as the Broncos went on a 12-0 run to break an 11-all tie. Eastern, which also made only 6-of-14 free throws in the game for 42 percent, fell to 7-6 with their fourth loss in the five games.
Eastern would go on to make only 32.4 percent of their shots for the season. Eastern would finish 12-18 overall and 6-10 in the Big Sky, while the Broncos finished 19-13 overall and 9-7 in the Western Athletic Conference to finish third.
Junior Benny Valentine led the Eagles with 13 points, but suffered through a 5-of-16 shooting night. Junior center Brandon Moore chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, but finished just 5-of-13 from the field and 2-of-8 from the line.
Eastern held Boise State to 41 percent shooting from the field, but that shooting edge and a 15-6 advantage from the line was enough for the Broncos to hold-off the Eagles. Eastern scored the final seven points of the game after falling behind by as many as 19 in the second half.
Eastern had a commanding 43-32 rebounding advantage, including 19 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points. But the Eagles had 15 turnovers as the Broncos held a 13-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
Senior Mark Sanchez had 14 points and 13 rebounds in BSU's win, but three other players returning for the 2009-10 season contributed to the victory. Six-foot-7 Paul Noonan scored 14 points on his way to averaging 10.0 points per game. Anthony Thomas had just two points but had six assists, and averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 assists for the year. Kurt Cunningham added seven points as the 6-9 center finished the season with averages of 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Eagles Versus Broncos -- The Eagles are 6-29
against Boise State, with the last meeting coming last Dec. 29 in a
57-48 loss in Boise. In the 2005-06 season, EWU lost 76-72 despite
34 points and eight rebounds by EWU's Rodney Stuckey. The previous
year in Boise, the former Big Sky Conference rival triumphed 78-67.
Eastern won the previous meeting 65-59 in the 2002-03 season in
Boise. Below are the meetings since EWU became a member of NCAA
Division I in the 1983-84 season. The Eagles joined BSU as a member
of the Big Sky in the 1987-88 season, and the Broncos departed the
league following the 1995-96 season.
1/7/84 - L - 69-92 - A
1/19/84 - L - 64-56 - H
12/1/84 - L - 49-54 - H
1/5/85 - L - 57-68 - A
11/27/85 - W - 66-60 - H
1/4/86 - L - 56-68 - A
12/31/86 - L - 53-71 - H
2/11/87 - L - 45-70 - A
2/13/88 - L - 62-89 - H
2/25/88 - L - 52-92 - A
1/21/89 - L - 52-72 - A
3/4/89 - L - 63-70 - H
1/6/90 - W - 87-55 - H
2/1/90 - L - 59-69 - A
1/12/91 - L - 69-80 - A
1/25/91 - L - 72-76 - H
2/1/92 - L - 54-60 - A
3/5/92 - L - 59-73 - H
2/5/93 - L - 66-76 - H
3/6/93 - L - 81-85 - A
2/4/94 - L - 51-67 - A
3/6/94 - L - 65-83 - H
1/13/95 - L - 56-76 - H
2/11/95 - W - 72-66 - A
1/12/96 - L - 49-73 - A
2/10/96 - L - 65-70 OT - H
11/29/01 - W - 47-42 - H
12/18/02 - W - 65-59 - A
12/15/04 - L - 67-78 - A
12/29/05 - L - 72-76 - A
12/29/08 - L - 48-57 - A