Conference Play Begins for EWU at Reese Court
Eagles host Weber State Thursday followed by visit from Idaho State on Saturday afternoon
Thursday, Dec. 20 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney,
6:05 p.m. - Weber State (4-3) at Eastern Washington (2-8)
Saturday, Dec. 22 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney,
2:05 p.m. - Idaho State (1-7 entering 2/20 game) at Eastern Washington
Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at The Swinging Doors in North Spokane . . .
700-AM ESPN, www.700espn.com & via iphone app. (search for
“Spokane Radio” and download app). Shows are each
Tuesday from Nov. 27-Dec. 18 and from Jan. 15 to March 12, and
feature head coach Jim Hayford and host
Larry Weir. The Swinging Doors is located at W.
1018 Francis in Spokane.
Radio: All Eastern games are on 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 20th season calling the play-by-play, starting 20 minutes prior to tipoff.
Internet Radio: www.700espn.com or www.tunein.com
Radio iPhone App: Search for “Spokane Radio” and download app. An app is also available for tunein radio.
Live Stats (EWU home games): ewulive.statb.us (web) or ewustats.com (mobile phones)
The 2012-13 Big Sky Conference season begins for the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team this week, and their opening games are sure to be a challenge.
Facing the top two teams in the league’s preseason polls in its first three Big Sky games, Eastern hosts Weber State this Thursday (Dec. 20) at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time in the league opener for both schools. On Saturday (Dec. 22), Eastern hosts Idaho State in an afternoon game starting at 2:05 p.m.
After a week off for the holidays, the Eagles resume conference play at Big Sky favorite and defending champion Montana on Jan. 3. Entering conference play, Weber State is 4-3, Idaho State is 1-7 and Montana is 4-4.
The radio broadcast of all Eastern games is on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.700espn.com and via iPhone application (search for “700 ESPN” and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via www.tunein.com and tunein’s mobile phone app. Larry Weir returns for his 20th year as the play-by-play voice of the Eagles.
“Two of our first three are Weber State and Montana, so we’ll find out,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford on his team’s level of preparedness. “We will be ready and we are going to keep getting better and better. There are a lot of things we can learn from, and we’ll do that.”
With a starting lineup consisting of two freshmen, a sophomore and a first-year junior point guard, Hayford’s team has lost its last three games and is 2-8 overall. The team’s lone senior starter – guard Jeffrey Forbes -- has a foot injury and played just seven minutes in EWU’s most recent outing, an 87-65 road loss at UC Davis.
“It’s early in the process – we are game 10 into 120 or 130 games with a majority of these players,” explained Hayford. “But we can’t keep making the same mistakes. We have to learn from the positives.”
Against UC Davis, the Eagles were out-scored 40-4 inside the paint and 19-6 in points off turnovers. Eastern made 17-of-41 3-point attempts for 42 percent, but were only 3-of-19 inside the paint for 16 percent.
“We’ll keep our head up and use it to get better,” said Hayford. “But we are going to have to develop more of an inside presence here.”
Eastern has a single common opponent with both the Wildcats and Bengals. Weber State defeated Utah Valley 89-56 on Dec. 5, the same team EWU lost to 86-83 on Nov. 20 in a game EWU led 43-32 at intermission.
Idaho State lost 66-53 at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 13, while EWU beat the Titans 79-75 on Nov. 30 in Cheney. Eastern, however, hasn’t won since. The Bengals, whose lone win was a 70-52 victory over Montana Western on Nov. 29, play at Portland State on Thursday before taking on the Eagles.
PDF Link to Fact Book
The complete version of the 2012 EWU men’s basketball fact
book may be found at:
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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
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* Sophomore Parker Kelly out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane equaled his career high with 17 points to pace the Eagles in their Dec. 17 loss at UC Davis. He made 5-of-8 3-point shots against the Aggies, and is now averaging 13.0 points per game in his last four games after scoring just 10 in the first five games he played. For the season, he is now averaging 6.9 points and 1.0 assists per game, while making 12-of-34 3-point shots for 34.3 percent.
* Eastern’s game with Idaho on Dec. 6 was the 100th in the Eastern career of senior guard Jeffrey Forbes, who has now scored 899 points in his 102-game Eastern career. Later this season, he could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. Forbes has averaged 30.9 minutes per game in his Eastern career with 91 starts. He ranks ninth in school history with 108 career steals, and is also fourth in 3-pointers made (152) and attempted (407). Forbes has a foot injury and although he started, played just seven minutes versus UC Davis on Dec. 17.
* True freshman forward Venky Jois from Boronia, Australia, has had five double-doubles in his last seven games, including 14 points and 12 rebounds versus Seattle on Dec. 10. Two games earlier, he had his best game as an Eagle with 22 points and 13 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton in EWU’s 79-75 win on Nov. 30 to earn Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors. He made 10-of-14 shots from the floor in that game, and for the season Jois is averaging 34.1 minutes, 12.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.3 blocked shots, 1.2 steals and 1.2 assists per game. He leads the league in rebounding and ranks 43rd in NCAA Division I (through Dec. 16). Earlier in the season, he was selected to the All-Tournament Team for his performances in the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic in Santa Clara, Calif. He had a pair of double-doubles with 19 points and 11 rebounds in EWU’s 75-70 win over South Carolina Upstate and 16 points and 11 boards one game earlier in an 86-83 loss to Utah Valley. Jois came to Eastern after winning a pair of MVP awards in Australia. He was the Bob Staunton 2012 U-20 National Championship MVP, after leading the Victoria State Team to the championship and an unbeaten record. Saint Mary’s College and NBA standout Patty Mills won the Bob Staunton MVP Award in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Jois was the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) Youth Player of the Year in 2011, an award given to the top under-23 player and previously won by college and NBA standouts Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.
* Senior Collin Chiverton, last year’s Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year, hasn’t played in Eastern’s last four games following the death of a close friend in San Francisco. Previously, his mother passed away just as the season began. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said last week that Chiverton would re-join the team before Christmas, and Chiverton was on the EWU bench for the team’s game at UC Davis. “He has gone through the most difficult two months of his life,” said Hayford. “I respect how he has addressed all the issues with great help from many people. He has been able to take care of his important coursework during this time away. I believe 2013 will be a great year for Collin.” Chiverton hasn’t played since Nov. 23, as he has scored 51 points in his last three games after scoring just 15 in EWU’s first three outings. Included are a pair of 19-point performances to hike his average to 11.0 for the season. Foul trouble has hindered him this season, and he scored 19 points in just 18 minutes before fouling out with 6:20 to play against South Carolina Upstate in EWU’s 75-70 win. One game later, he made 7-of-15 attempts from the field, including 4-of-12 3-point attempts, versus Santa Clara for his second-straight 19-point game. His performances were his best since scoring 20 versus UC Irvine on Feb. 18 last season. A year ago, he had 12 20-point performances, but was slowed late in the year with injuries.
* The Eagles lead the Big Sky in offensive rebounds with an average of 13.2 per game. Martin Seiferth is the individual leader with an average of 3.1, with Venky Jois ranking third at 2.7 per outing. A year ago, Eastern averaged 12.0 offensive boards per game to lead the league.
* The Eagles are also leading the league in 3-pointers made per game (10.5) while attempting an average of 29.6 per game. Eastern’s average of 9.8 treys made per game ranked second in NCAA Division I through games of Dec. 16. Last year, when EWU set school records with 283 makes and 793 attempts, Eastern averaged 8.8 made treys per game on an average of 24.8 attempts.
* The Eagles had a season high 17 3-pointers made versus UC Davis on Dec. 17, and have attempted at least 39 3-point attempts on three occasions. Eastern had 41 versus UC Davis and a season-high 42 against Utah Valley on Nov. 20. Eastern’s 17 3-pointers were one behind the school record of 18 set on Dec. 4, 2010, against New Hope. Eastern had a record 48 3-point attempts on Jan. 19, 1995, versus Sacramento State.
* Eastern is now second in the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots, with 47 already for an average of 4.7 per game. The Eagles had a school record 130 in the 2005-06 season (4.3 average per game).
* A trio of Eagles are currently leading the Big Sky Conference in statistical categories. Venky Jois leads in rebounds (9.6), Justin Crosgile leads in 3-pointers made per game (3.4) and Martin Seiferth is tops in offensive rebounds (3.0) and second in blocked shots (2.3). In addition, Crosgile leads the Big Sky in minutes played (36.7) and is second in assists (5.7), and Jois leads the league with five double-doubles (12th in NCAA Division I). Through games of Dec. 16, Crosgile’s average of 6.0 assists per game ranked 23rd nationally and his average of 3.22 3-pointers was 16th. Also, Jois was 43rd in rebounding (9.3) and Seiferth was 34th nationally in blocked shots (2.4 average).
* Three Eagles rank in the top nine in school history in career 3-pointers made. Jeffrey Forbes is fourth (152), Kevin Winford is fifth (119) and Collin Chiverton is ninth (103). In attempts, Forbes is fourth (407) and Winford (356) is fifth, and Chiverton is seventh in career 3-point field goal percentage (41.0).
* Eastern is 0-8 when it shoots less than 45 percent from the field, but is 2-0 when it has a higher percentage than that. Eastern’s lone wins were against USC Upstate (48 percent) and Cal State Fullerton (46 percent). Six times this season – including their last three outings – the Eagles have made 38 percent or less, and are coming off a season-worst 33 percent effort at UC Davis when EWU made 17-of-41 3-point attempts (42 percent), but just 3-of-19 inside the arc (16 percent).
* The Eagles have been picked to finish as high as third in the 2012-13 Big Sky Conference preseason men’s basketball polls released Oct. 18. The media have picked the Eagles to finish third, and the coaches selected Eastern sixth. Defending Big Sky champion Montana has been selected first in both polls.
More Game Notes
* The EWU men’s basketball team played its first six games away from home, but now is playing five of six in an improved Reese Court setting. Eastern is playing its home games for the 38th season at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. But last spring new premium seating was added on the scorer’s table/team benches side, and the wooden bleachers were moved to the ends of the court. In addition, a new video board has been added to the existing scoreboard at Reese Court this fall, and made its debut on Nov. 30.
* It’s obvious, Eastern’s transfers were anxious to play again after having to watch the 2011-12 season from the bench. Both Justin Crosgile (St. Joseph’s) and Martin Seiferth (Oregon) had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. Thus far, Crosgile is averaging a team-leading 15.7 points and 5.7 assists, as well as 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Seiferth is averaging 8.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game. With early-season performances of 28 and 27 points, respectively, they just missed a spot on Eastern’s all-time leading scorers list, with 30 points scored by 10 different players to rank 39th.
* In Eastern’s season-opening 88-70 loss at Washington State, junior point guard Justin Crosgile, a transfer from St. Joseph’s, had 28 points and five assists in his Eagle debut in a losing effort. Crosgile made 9-of-24 shots, including 7-of-17 3-point attempts. He also had four rebounds, but made just 3-of-14 shots in the first half, making him 6-of-10 after intermission. Crosgile’s performance was the highest-scoring debut for an Eagle since EWU moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season. Last year, his Eagle teammate Collin Chiverton scored 25 against Gonzaga, and the previous most was scored the year before by Tremayne Johnson with 21 versus San Jose State. Interestingly, current Detroit Piston Rodney Stuckey scored only 14 points in his debut against Pacific Lutheran in the 2005-06 season. Crosgile’s scoring output was also the second-best season-opening performance by an Eagle since David Peed scored 29 points on Nov. 25, 1989, in EWU’s 96-84 loss to BYU.
* The Eagles went 1-5 on a season-opening six-game road stretch, including four games in six nights in California. With eight newcomers blending together with six letter winners (not including redshirts), the Eagles have had a lot of highs and lows on the trip. Eastern’s lone win was a 75-70 victory over South Carolina Upstate, a team that won 20 games a year ago and played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Eagles lost to another 20-game winner and CIT participant, Utah Valley, by just three points (86-83). Eastern led 43-32 at halftime against Utah Valley, and even had a 31-26 lead late in the first half of an 85-66 loss on Nov. 18 to Saint Mary’s – a NCAA Tournament participant a year ago. In EWU’s third game in four nights in California, Eastern fell 89-74 to an unbeaten Santa Clara squad.
* Three Eagles who played for the highly-successful City College of San Francisco basketball team returned to the Bay Area for a quartet of games in November. Collin Chiverton is from San Jose, and Ivan Dorsey and Garrett Moon are both from San Francisco. That trio helped lead CCSF to the 2010-11 California Community Colleges Athletic Association title and finish 32-1. San Francisco finished the season with a 27-game winning streak, and was a perfect 12-0 to win the Coast-North title. The year after, Dorsey and Moon (who is redshirting this season) led the Rams to a 27-3 record, meaning those two players were on the winning end of 54 of 59 games in junior college. Chiverton also returned to his former college on the trip -- he redshirted the 2008-09 season while at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. In last year’s 77-61 loss to the Gaels, Chiverton scored 18 points for EWU. He had seven points in just 15 minutes before fouling out in this year’s meeting.
* With the addition of North Dakota and Southern Utah into the Big Sky Conference, Eastern’s league slate will include 20 games for the first time. The Big Sky Conference Tournament will take place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion. After being a six-team affair for most of its history, it will now include seven teams, with the regular season champion receiving a first-round bye. The tournament will include a quarterfinal round with six of the teams playing, followed by semifinals and the championship game.
* In all, Eastern’s 2012-13 schedule includes 10 games versus eight schools who participated in national postseason tournaments a year ago. Eastern will play six games against those opponents on the road, and four games at home. Two appeared in the NCAA Tournament – Saint Mary’s (Nov. 18 on the road) and Montana (Jan. 3 on the road and Feb. 2 at home). Washington State (Nov. 10 on the road) played in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, and lost to Pittsburgh 89-69 in the championship game. The other five postseason opponents on EWU’s schedule were all in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Weber State (Dec. 20 at home and March 9 on the road), Idaho (Dec. 6 at home) and South Carolina Upstate (Nov. 21 on the road) advanced to the second round. Utah Valley (Nov. 20 on the road) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 30 at home) played in the first round.
* The preseason for the Eagles consisted of a 96-70 victory over Concordia, as well as a closed-door scrimmage two weeks earlier. Eastern also went on a six-game, seven-day trek across British Columbia in September. NCAA Division I schools are allowed to make one preseason foreign trip every four years, including up to 10 practices and six games. Of the 15 players on his roster, 14 of them played during the tour. In winning six games in six nights, the Eagles had a different leading scorer each night. On the floor, the trip helped Hayford blend together returning letterwinners, redshirts, four-year transfers, a junior college transfer and lots of incoming high school players. It also helped develop camaraderie and a team-first attitude among a melting pot of a roster consisting of Germans, Australians and Americans from five different states.
* After losing four seniors to graduation from his first Eastern team, Hayford’s 2012-13 squad will return two starters and four other returning letterwinners. His team also includes three players who redshirted last season – featuring a pair of NCAA Division I transfers – with six newcomers rounding out his squad. One guard and three players 6-7 or taller were lost from last year’s team.
* Eastern finished 15-17 overall and was 8-8 in Big Sky Conference play to finish fourth, and the Eagles hosted and won their first Big Sky Conference Tournament game since 2006. Eastern improved by five victories from the year before, as the Eagles equaled their most wins since Eastern made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.
* Eastern’s games versus Washington State, Utah Valley, South Carolina Upstate and Santa Clara are all part of the 2012 College Basketball Experience (CBE) Hall of Fame Classic. The WSU game took place in Pullman, Wash., and the other three will be played in Santa Clara, Calif., as part of the CBE Classic, which is hosted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
EWU vs. Weber State Series Notes
* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 20-40 against Weber State (20-41 all-time). The Eagles are 14-14 in Cheney, 4-26 in Ogden and 2-0 on neutral courts versus the Wildcats since 1983-84. The only other game in the series was an 83-65 loss in Ogden on Dec. 14, 1978, making EWU 4-27 in Ogden all-time.
* Until winning 75-59 on March 2, 2011, the Eagles had lost the last five meetings, with their last win in the series coming on Feb. 14, 2008, at home by a 69-57 score. The Eagles have won 14 of the last 36 meetings after losing nine-straight from 1992-1996. In the 2011-12 season, the Eagles lost at home to the Wildcats, 76-69, then were beaten on the road 84-75.
* Eastern has defeated the Wildcats three times in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament (72-53 in 2004, 62-57 in 2002 and 83-67 in 1990). Besides the 2011 victory, Eastern’s lone victories in Ogden came in 2006 (76-73), 2001 (81-70) and 2000 (90-78). In 2000, Eastern snapped the Wildcats' 30-game home winning streak, which at the time was the fourth longest in NCAA Division I.
EWU vs. Idaho State Series Notes
* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 35-26 against the Bengals, including a 24-7 record in Cheney and 10-18 mark in Pocatello (1-1 on neutral courts). Eastern has won the last 10 meetings in Cheney, dating back to a 65-63 Bengal win at EWU on March 1, 2003.
* The Eagles have won six consecutive games in the series, dating back to the last win for ISU on Jan. 22, 2010 (79-71 in Pocatello). Eastern has won 24 of the past 33 meetings against the Bengals, including a sweeps the last two years. In the 2010-11 season, both meetings took place within eight days of each other and the Eagles won 83-70 in Cheney on Jan. 29, 2011, and then were victorious 69-67 in Pocatello on Feb. 5, 2011. The same thing happened in EWU’s sweep in the 2011-12 season when the Eagles won twice in a six-day span, including an 85-78 win in Pocatello on Feb. 23 followed by a 77-64 victory in Cheney on Feb. 28. The teams met again just four days later on March 3 in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Championships, with EWU winning in Cheney 81-75 – meaning all three games were played in a nine-day span -- Eastern also recorded season sweeps in the 2001-02, 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
* Idaho State swept the Eagles in the regular season in 2002-03, but Eastern won the third meeting by a 76-67 score in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament. In the 2009-10 season, Eastern lost at Idaho State 80-74 but won 79-71 in Cheney where the season ended for both teams.\
* Eastern, which lost eight-straight games to ISU from 1993 to 1997, leads in the all-time series 38-27 (26-6 in Cheney, 11-20 in Pocatello, 1-1 neutral).
* Sophomore center Martin Seiferth broke a school record that stood for 25 years with seven blocked shots in a 96-79 loss to Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12. Seiferth, who also had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the game, broke the previous record of six set by Dexter Griffen versus Idaho State on Jan. 2, 1987. Seiferth’s 17 rebounds are the sixth-best recorded performance all-time at Eastern. The sophomore from Berlin, Germany, just missed a spot on Eastern’s all-time leading scorers list, with 30 points scored by 10 different players to rank 39th. One game earlier, teammate Justin Crosgile scored 28 points against Washington State.
* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes has played in102 games to rank 12th in school history, and could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. A 90-game starter, Forbes has averaged 30.9 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He ranks ninth in school history with 108 career steals, just three from reaching No. 8. He is also fourth in 3-pointers made (152) and attempted (407). He is 32 makes and 92 attempts away from school records. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 88.2 percent (149-of-169), but he is 35 attempts shy to meet the minimum of two free throw attempts per game. Forbes set a single season school record for free throw percentage (.900, 54-of-60) as a sophomore. He also made 55 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank as the 11th-most in Eastern history (now 13th entering the 2012-13 season).
* Senior guard Kevin Winford has played in 98 career games, and is just eight from a spot on Eastern’s top 10 all-time list. He ranks in the top 10 on several Eastern season and career lists for 3-point shooting. On career charts, his 119 makes and his 356 attempts both rank fifth. Winford made 66 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season to rank fifth (now sixth) in single season school history, and his 187 attempts were fourth (now fifth). He owns school records for single game 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (23) when he finished with 39 points – fifth-best in school history – in his sophomore season against New Hope (12/4/10).
* Senior forward Collin Chiverton and his 102 3-pointers rank ninth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 251 attempts are 22 away. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 131 of 173 games for a .757 winning percentage. His junior college and high school teams won 114 of 131 games (87 percent).
Recent Game Summaries
* The Eagles came one 3-pointer from a school record, but EWU couldn’t do much on the inside and fell to UC Davis 87-65 on Dec. 17 in Davis, Calif. Eastern fell behind 10-0 and came no closer than four the rest of the way. The Eagles made 17-of-41 3-point attempts for 42 percent, but was just 3-of-19 inside the arc for 16 percent. As a result, UC Davis out-scored Eastern inside the paint 40-4. Sophomore Parker Kelly out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane equaled his career high with 17 points to pace the Eagles, making 5-of-8 3-point shots. Junior Justin Crosgile scored 15 and freshman Thomas Reuter added 10. But Eastern’s inside duo of 6-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth and 6-7 freshman Venky Jois combined to make just 2-of-10 shots from the field and finish with nine points. Jois, the leading rebounder in the Big Sky, had a game-high 12 boards for EWU.
* Eastern withstood the full-court pressure of Seattle the best it could, but the Redhawks out-shot EWU significantly and defeated the Eagles 75-69 Dec. 10 in a non-conference game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. Seattle made 50 percent of its shots from the field while the Eagles made only 37 percent. Eastern freshman Venky Jois had his fifth double-double in the last six games, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Justin Crosgile added 15 points and sophomore Parker Kelly came off the bench to finish with 14. Eastern’s shooting woes included a 6-of-27 performance from the 3-point arc for 22 percent. Kelly made just 1-of-8 3-pointers, senior starter Jeffrey Forbes was just 1-of-5 and senior sharpshooter Jordan Hickert made only one of four.
* In a closely-contested game, Idaho defeated Eastern 81-79 in overtime Dec. 6 in a non-conference game at Reese Court. Eastern junior guard Justin Crosgile scored 26 points, including eight 3-pointers, in a losing effort that also included eight rebounds and four assists. He hit a trey to help send the game into overtime, and another 3-pointer to give EWU a lead in overtime. But a jumper in the lane with 21 seconds left in overtime by Mansa Habeeb turned out to be the winning points for the Vandals after Crosgile missed a trey with five seconds remaining. Eastern freshman forward Venky Jois had a double-double – his fourth in his last five games – with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore center Martin Seiferth added 10 points and three rebounds, and freshman forward Thomas Reuter chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and three steals. Eastern was out-rebounded 55-34, including 21 Vandal offensive boards that led to 17 second-chance points. Eastern had just four turnovers, and forced 13 leading to 21 points off turnovers. The game featured 22 lead changes and eight ties, and the Eagles held a 34-33 advantage at halftime after Crosgile hit a 3-pointer. That ignited a 19-0 Eastern run, and the Eagles led by 17 at 50-33 with 15:53 remaining. The Vandals went 6:19 without scoring in that stretch. But Idaho responded with a 15-0 run of its own, and regained the lead at 54-53 with 9:02 left in the game. Eastern went scoreless for 4:57 in that stretch. Idaho took a five-point lead at the 2:47 mark, but a basket by Jois and Crosgile’s triple sent the game into overtime.
* It was a coming out party for a trio of EWU newcomers as the Eagles defeated Cal State Fullerton 79-75 on Nov. 30 in Eastern’s home debut at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Eagles out-scored the Titans 40-29 in the second half, and held them to 28 percent shooting after intermission, including just 1-of-10 3-point field goals. Freshman forward Venky Jois and junior guard Justin Crosgile each had double-doubles for the Eagles. Jois finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games. Crosgile, a transfer from St. Joseph’s, had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He made two huge baskets late in the game, as he recorded his first double-double of the season. After Crosgile hit a driving layin to give EWU a four-point advantage with 1:26 to play, senior Jeffrey Forbes helped clinch the win by making five of six free throws in the last 28.2. Parker Kelly, who had a season-high 12 for the Eagles, closed out the victory with a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds left. Freshman forward Thomas Reuter chipped in 16 points, including 13 in the second half. His previous season high was six points as he entered the game averaging 2.3 points per game. He took the place of starter Collin Chiverton, who returned to his hometown of San Francisco because of the death of a close friend. A month ago, his mother passed away.
* Read more at: http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Quoting Coach Jim Hayford
Hayford on UC Davis Game: “Our offensive balance is distorted as the stats show. We are going to have to have our (inside) guys really keep their confidence. There are ways to balance that. When you make 17 3-pointers and convert 42 percent, that does spread the defense out. We went inside but we weren’t able to make those shots pay off. We received some really good play from Parker Kelly -- I was really pleased with that. There are other things we need to fix. We didn’t take care of the ball and had some turnovers in the second half. These are games we are going to learn from.”
On Getting Experience: “The same thing we do every night is get more experience. It’s hard with some of these younger guys -- Martin played 50 minutes at Oregon and sat out last year, Thomas and Venky are true freshmen, and Parker (Kelly) is a sophomore.”
On Cal State Fullerton Win: “Our team grew up a lot. I’m very proud of them. I’m really proud of the defensive effort we had in the second half. We talked all week how we have to put it together for 40 minutes. We felt in the six road games we showed flashes of a good team, but we hadn’t done it for 40 minutes. Against Cal State Fullerton we finished strong. We finished strong like how an Eastern football team finishes strong. It was good.”
On Aggressive Play: “I’m scrappy so I’m going to try to make them scrappy every day. That’s the only way I know how to play basketball. It’s just a truth. The team that plays harder wins. That’s the great equalizer -- there’s talent and whatever, but I hope we just get scrappier. It’s real early in the season.”
On Newcomers Jois and Crosgile: “All of our guys have come here sold on a vision. He (Venky) came halfway around the world and Justin from the East Coast because they really, really believe we can become a winning program. We want to win. We really want to win.”