Win Monday in Portland over Vikings would create a five-way tie for fifth in the league standings and also clinch EWU’s first-ever Dam Cup
Monday, Feb. 18 - Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) -
7:35 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington (6-9/8-17) at Portland State (4-11/6-16)
Saturday, Feb. 23 - Reese Court (5,000)
- Cheney, Wash.
1:05 p.m. Pacific - Sam Houston State 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 Jan. 8 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: ewulive.statb.us (web/EWU Home Games) or ewustats.com (mobile phones/EWU Home Games) . . . PSU GAME
The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team was the more rested team in its last outing, but the Eagles won’t be on Monday (Feb. 18) in Portland, Ore., when they try to move into a five-way tie for fifth in the Big Sky Conference standings.
After a physically-challenging 86-72 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday (Feb. 16), the Eagles take a long bus trip to the Rose City to face Portland State in a key Big Sky Conference game for both schools. Tipoff at the Stott Center is 7:35 p.m. Pacific time in a rematch of a 76-65 Eagle win in Cheney, Wash., on Jan. 28.
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.
The Eagles have won four of their last six games after a four-game losing streak in late January knocked Eastern below the cutoff line for the postseason. The win over Southern Utah provided a boost in EWU’s chase for one of seven berths to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Eagles improved to 6-9 in the league and 8-17 overall, and are now in the midst of a logjam in the middle of the conference standings.
Eastern is currently in ninth in the Big Sky, but is just 1 1/2 games out of third place. In fact, a win Monday would put the Eagles into a five-way tie for fifth in the league standings.
Portland State, meanwhile, hasn’t played since thumping Southern Utah 90-69 on Thursday (Feb. 14). The Vikings are 10th in the league with a 4-11 record and are 6-16 overall, but are now just 2 1/2 games out of fifth and 3 1/2 games from third.
“Portland State played really, really well (against Southern Utah),” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “They know that they can’t lose another game. We are going to play against a desperate team that is consistently getting better, and they are back to full strength. It is going to take a really good game for us to come out of there with a win. We have won four of our last six -- we are in a good place and we have to keep working and getting better.”
Besides its obvious importance to the league race, a win would wrap-up Eastern’s first championship in “The Dam Cup.” Portland State and Eastern are in the third year of the five-sport rivalry cup, and EWU currently leads in points 8-5. The so-named rivalry refers to the four dams linking Oregon and Washington that one passes on the 339-mile drive between campuses.
The Southern Utah game undoubtedly took a physical toll on EWU. A total of 51 fouls were whistled in the game, including 28 on the Thunderbirds.
“More than anything, I am glad our guys did not get intimidated or back down,” said Hayford. “They kept a tough chin, and did not let them push us around.”
The Eagles, who have used 11 different starting lineups this season, broke a pair of blocked shots records in the win over Southern Utah. Not only was the single season team record broken (EWU has a current total of 138), but true freshman Venky Jois set the school’s season individual record (he now has 55). Jois, EWU’s leading scorer (12.5) and rebounder (9.5), played 22 minutes versus the Thunderbirds after missing the previous three games with a sprained ankle. Teammate Martin Seiferth, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, had a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Eastern may utilize yet another starting lineup Monday, with Kevin Winford being unable to make the trip to Portland. He suffered a blow to his shin against Southern Utah that resulted in compartment syndrome and required surgery the evening following the game.
“There has been so much adversity, but we just keep going,” said Hayford. “We look to the next man up, and for them to do their job. Obviously, Venky is nowhere near 100 percent, but he helped us set a school record in blocked shots. It was a great night for Martin. He gave us a great interior presence.”
In its most recent outing on the road, the Eagles rallied from 18 behind in the second half to beat Northern Arizona 77-74 in overtime. The Eagles are 6-5 at home this season, and are now 1-11 on opponent home courts (1-1 at neutral sites). Just seven teams advance to the league tournament, which takes place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion.
Following Monday’s game, Eastern returns home for its next three games. The Eagles play Feb. 23 versus Sam Houston State in the ESPN BracketBusters, then host Northern Colorado on Feb. 28 and North Dakota on March 2.
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NCAA Basketball -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-baskbl/ncaa-m-baskbl-body.html
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* EWU will be playing the Portland State game without starting point guard Kevin Winford. He suffered a blow to the shin against Southern Utah, and because of worsening pain, was taken to the emergency room after the game. He was diagnosed with compartment syndrome and had surgery. Head Athletic Trainer Brian Norton said the surgery went well and Winford is expected to be released Sunday (Feb. 17). Norton said Winford will follow-up with the surgeon on Monday or Tuesday.
* Last month, Eastern successfully began its three-game homestand by leading from start to finish in a 76-65 win over Portland State on Jan. 28. The Eagles led 33-25 at halftime, then went on a 9-2 run to start the second half and open a double-digit lead it held most of the rest of the game. In the four games prior to that – all losses – the Eagles out-scored opponents 125-114 in the first half, but were out-scored 152-86 in the second half (average differential of 16 points, 38-22). Despite starting two true freshmen and two sophomores, a key to the win over PSU was EWU’s composure. The Eagles had just eight turnovers – equaling their fewest since a season-low four versus Idaho on Dec. 6.
* Besides making a season-best 53.7 percent of its shots and scoring a season-high 86 points, Eastern set a pair of blocked shots records against Southern Utah on Feb. 16. Venky Jois had five blocks, giving him 55 for the season and breaking the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. The Eagles finished with 10 as a team to give them 138 on the season, breaking the EWU record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season. Seiferth has 46 blocks to rank third all-time behind Jois and Butorac. “Venky and Martin are athletic players,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “They are a presence inside. They are a freshman and a sophomore, so we have to balance their athleticism with smarts and wisdom.”
* Eastern, which entered the Southern Utah game ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in 3-pointers made per game (8.7), attempted just 15 versus the Thunderbirds. Eastern made six, just one game after establishing a season-high for attempts in a 14-of-43 performance at NAU. The Eagles are averaging a league-leading 8.6 makes per game (total of 215) while attempting an average of 25.5 (total of 637). 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.
* Portland State and Eastern are in the third year of a five-sport rivalry cup called “The Dam Cup.” Eastern Washington currently leads the competition, 8-5. The so-named rivalry refers to the four dams linking Oregon and Washington that one passes on the 339-mile drive from the Portland State campus to the Eastern Washington campus. Located along the Columbia River, they are Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, The John Day Dam and the McNary Dam. The winner of the Dam Cup will possess The Dam Trophy acknowledging the achievement for the following year. Portland State currently possesses the Dam Trophy having won the inaugural Dam Cup in 2010-11 by a 9-8 score, and the 2011-12 Cup by a 15-2 score. The annual football game is worth four points, the women's soccer match is worth one point, each women's volleyball match is worth two points for a total of four points possible, and each men's and women's basketball game is worth two points for a total of four points possible in each sport, The total points possible are 17, which means that to win the cup a school would need to win at least nine points. Here is a listing of the 2012-13 Dam Cup Series games and current point totals: Volleyball - Sept. 17 PSU 3, @ EWU 0 - PSU leads 2-0; Soccer - Sept. 30 @ PSU 4 @ EWU 0 - PSU leads 3-0; Volleyball - Oct. 18 @ PSU 3, EWU 0 - PSU leads 5-0; Football - Nov. 17 EWU 41, @ PSU 34 - PSU leads 5-4; Women's Basketball - Jan. 21 EWU 68, @ PSU 56 - EWU leads 6-5; Men's Basketball - Jan. 28 @ EWU 76, PSU 65; Men's Basketball - Feb. 18 @ PSU; Women's Basketball - Feb. 21 @ EWU.
* Redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey has proved to be Eastern’s go-to reliever in the last two games. Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation against Northern Arizona on Feb. 9, Harvey came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable 77-74 overtime victory in Flagstaff, Ariz. Eastern trailed by 13 when Harvey entered the game for the second time with 3:42 left. He never came out after that, and scored eight points in regulation and six in overtime. In EWU’s next game versus Southern Utah, he helped preserve EWU’s 14-point win by scoring all 11 of his points in the last 6:10 of the game. Harvey had entered the NAU game having averaged just 4.8 minutes in the 13 games he has played thus far as an Eagle. He had only scored 17 points the entire season, with a high of six in the team’s opener at Washington State. He made 9-of-11 shots overall and 4-of-6 from the 3-point line against the Thunderbirds and Lumberjacks; before that he had made only 6-of-17 overall and 3-of-9 treys for the season.
* Eastern’s win over NAU on Feb. 9 completed a season sweep and gives the Eagles a key tiebreaking advantage over the Lumberjacks. In addition, the victory was EWU’s first of the season in 12 tries on opponent home courts. It snapped a 13-game losing skid overall on the road as Eastern’s last win on an opponent’s home court was at Idaho State on Feb. 23, 2012, by an 85-78 score.
* Sophomore Parker Kelly out of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane established a new career high with 19 points in EWU’s come-from-behind 77-74 overtime win over Northern Arizona on Feb. 9, then scored 15 in his next outing versus Southern Utah. Versus NAU, Kelly’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation and a subsequent defensive stop by the Eagles helped send the game into overtime tied at 66. Kelly is now averaging 10.5 points per game in his last 19 games after scoring just 10 in the first five games he played. He has started 13 of the 24 games he has played this season, and is now averaging 8.7 points and 0.9 assists per game, while making a team-leading 42-of-109 3-point shots for 38.5 percent.
* Thus far, the Eagles have used 11 different starting lineups because of a variety of reasons and obstacles placed before them. But the one constant has been the continued development of young players, including five freshmen/sophomores who each have started at least two games with a collective total of 76 starts this season (sophomores Parker Kelly and Martin Seiferth, and true freshmen Venky Jois, Thomas Reuter and Daniel Hill).
* True freshman Venky Jois had a career high seven assists and equaled his career high with 14 rebounds in Eastern’s 72-68 victory over Montana State on Jan. 31, and he also had eight points and three blocked shots. Jois, however, missed the last 3:15 with an ankle injury, and then sat out the next three games before playing 22 minutes versus Southern Utah on Feb. 16. Jois has established himself as a bonafide contender for All-Big Sky Conference honors, as well as the league’s Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year accolades. He has had nine double-doubles this season to lead the Big Sky and rank 34th in NCAA Division I (through games of Feb. 14). He also leads the league and ranks 22nd nationally in rebounding (9.5), and is 30th in the nation and tops in the Big Sky in blocked shots (2.5 per game). His 55 blocked shots has broken the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. He is also 14th in the league in scoring (12.5) and 10th in field goal percentage (.484). He had 20 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and five assists in a 76-65 win over Portland State as he came two points and a rebound away from his season highs. Against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, Jois equaled the school record of seven blocked shots set earlier this season by teammate Martin Seiferth, as Jois finished with yet another monster game with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and the seven blocks. He had his best game as an Eagle with 22 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting against Cal State Fullerton in EWU’s 79-75 win on Nov. 30 to earn Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors. In January, he was selected to the Collegehoopsdaily.com All-Big Sky Conference team from the first half of the season, and was also the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month for January. 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.
* Eastern is leading the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots with a school-record 138 already for an average of 5.5 per game to rank 18th in NCAA Division I. Individual Eagles are ranked No. 1 and No. 4 in the league, with Venky Jois averaging 2.5 per game to rank 30th in NCAA Division I and Martin Seiferth averaging 1.8 to rank 86th. The previous school record was 130 in the 2005-06 season (4.3 average per game).
* The Eagles are third in the Big Sky in offensive rebounds with an average of 11.2 per game (Southern Utah 12.4, Montana State 11.3). Martin Seiferth has a 2.3 average and Venky Jois is averaging 2.2 to rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the league. A year ago, Eastern averaged 12.0 offensive boards per game to lead the league.
* Three Eagles rank in the top six in school history in career 3-pointers made. Jeffrey Forbes is third (166), Kevin Winford is fifth (138) and Collin Chiverton is sixth (125). In attempts, Forbes is third (444), Winford (409) is fifth and Chiverton is sixth (324), and Chiverton is also 10th in career 3-point field goal percentage (38.6).
* Eastern knows a lot about the Bearkats from the football field, just not much yet about their men’s basketball team. The Eagles will host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Feb. 23 as pairings were announced Jan. 4 for the ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series of college basketball games. The game has been scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Pacific time at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. As part of the final year of BracketBusters, Eastern will play a return game against SHSU in Huntsville, Texas -- probably in the 2014-15 season. Eastern hosted and played the Bearkats last Dec. 15 in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, won by SHSU 45-42. The two football teams will play each other again in regular season meetings this fall on Sept. 28 in Huntsville and in 2014 in Cheney.
* With the league expanded to 11 teams, the Big Sky Conference Tournament includes seven teams this year and will take place March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion. The host receives a first-round bye, with the other six teams playing for the other three berths in the semifinals. A year ago, Eastern beat Idaho State 81-75 in the first round before losing to eventual champion Montana 74-66 in the semifinals.
More EWU Notes
* Senior point guard Kevin Winford is averaging 10.3 points and 4.2 assists in EWU’s last six games, finishing with 11 points at Sacramento State on Feb. 7 and 12 in EWU’s 77-74 overtime win at Northern Arizona on Feb. 9. He also had five assists in each game, and had a career-high four steals versus the Lumberjacks. Winford ranks 14th in the Big Sky in assists with a 2.6 average per game. Winford had his most productive outings in two years with 13 points in both meetings versus Montana State this season. His performances against the Bobcats were his best since scoring 15 versus Northern Colorado on Feb. 3, 2011. He also had his most assists since dishing out a career-high seven versus New Hope on Dec. 4, 2010 (he scored 39 points in that game with a school-record 10 3-pointers). In the first meeting with MSU, Eastern played its second game with Winford in the lineup as starting point guard, with Justin Crosgile no longer on the team after starting the first 12 games.
* Despite missing most of the previous four games with a hand injury, senior guard Jeffrey Forbes returned against Sacramento State on Feb. 7 and then started his school-record 100th game for the Eagles Feb. 9 at Northern Arizona. He scored 10 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left that provided the final margin versus the Lumberjacks. He also had four assists and a career-high eight rebounds in the 77-74 overtime win over NAU. He started and scored six points against the Hornets one game earlier, but essentially did not play in the previous four games because of a cut that required stitches between the pinkie finger and ring finger of his shooting hand. He did not play versus Montana State, played in just the final seconds of the games against Montana and Southern Utah and only the final seconds of the first half versus Portland State. He suffered the injury late in the game versus Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, and one game earlier had missed the first game of his career because of a knee injury suffered in an automobile accident involving one of the team’s mini-vans. Forbes has now played 115 games in his career – which ranks fourth in school history and is just five behind the school record of 119 set by Marc Axton from 2002-05. If he doesn’t miss any more games, Forbes will tie the record on Senior Day on March 2 versus North Dakota. Axton held the previous games started record with 99.
* Second-year Eastern head coach Jim Hayford will coach in his 400th career game on March 7 when the Eagles play at Idaho State. He is currently 277-118 (70.1 percent) in 13-plus seasons as a head coach, including a 23-34 mark at Eastern. He was 217-57 (79.2 percent) in 10 seasons at Whitworth (2001-2011), and before that was 37-27 in two seasons at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
* Eastern’s game with Idaho on Dec. 6 was the 100th in the Eastern career of senior guard Jeffrey Forbes, and fellow senior Kevin Winford played in his 100th on Dec. 22 versus Idaho State. Forbes, who has now scored 976 points in his 114-game Eastern career, needs only 24 points to become the 16th player in school history to hit the 1,000-point mark. Currently fourth in career games played, he could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. Forbes has averaged 29.9 minutes per game in his Eastern career with a school-record 101 starts. He ranks eighth in school history with 114 career steals, and is also third in 3-pointers made (166) and third in attempts (444). Winford has started 46 of the 111 games he has played (seventh-most games played in school history), averaging 19.5 minutes per game. He has made 138-of-409 3-pointers in his career to rank fifth in school history in both categories, with a total of 704 points scored.
* Six-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth has made 62.1 percent of his shots from the field to rank second in the Big Sky. Thus far, Seiferth is averaging 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds (17th in the Big Sky) and 1.8 blocked shots per game (fourth in the Big Sky). His 46 blocked shots already rank as the third-most in school history. He had his second double-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots versus Southern Utah on Feb. 16. He scored 13 points with six rebounds and four blocked shots in EWU’s 76-65 win over Portland State on Jan. 28. He made 6-of-7 shots from the field and had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in just 26 minutes of action at North Dakota on Jan. 17. Earlier this season he was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after finishing with 27 points, 17 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots in a 96-79 loss at Cal State Northridge. The transfer from Oregon had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.
* Senior Collin Chiverton scored just 15 points in EWU’s first three outings this season, but he has bumped his average to 10.8 for the season. He scored 18 points in just 10 minutes of action in EWU’s 86-72 win over Southern Utah on Feb. 16. He had 20 points against Montana State on Jan. 31, including Eastern’s final six in the last 1:21 of the 72-68 victory. He made 7-of-14 shots and 5-of-5 free throws in the game for his 14th 20-point performance of his career and his second of the season. He had a season-best 22 points against Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 for his best performance since a career-high 26 against Seattle on Jan. 16, 2012. He played versus Montana on Jan. 3 for his first appearance since Nov. 23. Last year’s Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year, Chiverton missed six games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 following the death of a close friend in San Francisco. Previously, his mother passed away just as the season began. Foul trouble hindered him early in the year, 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. A year ago, he had 12 20-point performances, but was slowed late in the year with injuries.
* Since becoming eligible in mid-December, Australian point guard Daniel Hill has averaged 2.3 points, 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game in an average of 14.2 minutes per game (16 total games). He made the first start of his career at point guard on Jan. 17 at North Dakota as an injury replacement for Kevin Winford, and he had a season-high five assists, four rebounds and a steal in 38 minutes. He also had five assists one game later versus Northern Colorado when he played 35 minutes in place of Winford for the second-straight game. Hill had three assists in EWU’s 82-59 win over Northern Arizona on Jan. 10, and a season-high eight points in his third game as an Eagle in a 57-54 victory over Idaho State on Dec. 22.
* True freshman Thomas Reuter has scored in double figures five times this season, including 11 in EWU’s loss to Montana on Feb. 2. For the season, he has started 15 of EWU’s 25 games and is averaging 22.8 minutes, 5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He had a season-high 16 points with five rebounds in EWU’s 79-75 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 30.
* Until Montana sank 46.2 percent on Feb. 2, Eastern held its last 10 opponents to 44 percent or less shooting from the field. After allowing non-conference opponents to make a collective 48.0 percent against them, the Eagles have allowed conference opponents to shoot at just a 39.5 percent clip (second in the BSC). EWU is now 7-5 when it holds opponents to 43.5 percent or less and 1-12 when it doesn’t. The Eagles made only 38.0 percent versus Idaho State on Dec. 22, but had a season-best defensive effort of 37.9 percent against the Bengals. Eastern bettered that two games later by holding Montana State to 34.5 percent, then held the Bobcats to just 30.3 percent in the rematch on Jan. 31.
* The Montana loss on Jan. 3 was Eastern’s first game without former starting point guard Justin Crosgile, who left the team for personal reasons to be closer to his family. Crosgile, who is from Patterson, N.J., and is a transfer from St. Joseph’s (Pa.), started EWU’s first 12 games and averaged 14.7 points, 5.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
EWU vs. Portland State Series Notes
* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are now 18-17 versus the Vikings. All of the meetings have come since 1997 when PSU joined the Big Sky Conference, and Eastern is 12-6 in Cheney and 6-10 against PSU in Portland (0-1 on neutral courts) since then.
* The Vikings, who won 78-76 in overtime in the 2011-12 season in Cheney and 69-64 in Portland, has a 20-19 edge in the overall series. Eastern owns a 13-7 record in Cheney and 6-12 mark in Portland (0-1 on neutral courts) against the Vikings.
* Despite losing eight of the last 10 meetings, the Eagles have still won 16 of the last 28 meetings. With a 65-61 home victory on Jan. 27, 2011, Eastern snapped a six-game losing streak to the Vikings. Before that, the last Eastern win in the series was a 58-57 home win over the Vikings on Dec. 22, 2007. Prior to that, Eastern had won five of the last six meetings.
* In the previous meeting, true freshman Venky Jois had his ninth double-double of the season with 20 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and five assists, and the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team opened a three-game homestand by defeating Portland State 76-65 Jan. 28 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Eagles led from start to finish as four Eagles scored in double figures. Sophomore Parker Kelly equaled his career high with 17 points, sophomore Martin Seiferth had 13 points, six rebounds and four blocks, and senior Kevin Winford added 12 points and three assists. A second true freshman, Thomas Reuter, contributed eight points, eight rebounds and three assists. Against Portland State, Eastern led 33-25 at halftime – the seventh time in EWU’s last nine games the Eagles have led at intermission. In the second half, Eastern outscored PSU 43-40. Jois went into the game ranked 21st in NCAA Division I in double-doubles, 33rd in rebounding and 37th in blocked shots, while leading the league in all three categories. He had 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the second half alone as he came two points and a rebound away from his season highs. Led by Jois, Eastern made 57 percent of its shots in the second half and had a 19-12 rebounding advantage. Eastern also had only eight turnovers in the game, including just five versus PSU’s full-court pressure in the second half.
EWU vs. Sam Houston State Series Notes
* Eastern is 2-0 all-time versus the Bearkats. The two schools haven’t played each other since Nov. 16, 1997, when the Eagles won 80-77 at Reese Court. Eastern won 69-66 in Huntsville, Texas, the year prior in the only other men’s basketball game between EWU and SHSU.
12/14/96 - W - 69-66 – A
11/16/97 - W - 80-77 - H
* Venky Jois has 55 blocked shots this season, breaking the previous school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. With 138 as a team, the Eagles also broke the school record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season. In addition, Martin Seiferth has 46 blocks to rank third on EWU’s single season list, and Jois already ranks eighth on EWU’s career list. Jois equaled the school record of Seiferth with seven blocked shots against Northern Colorado on Jan. 19. Seiferth broke the previous school record of six that had stood for 25 years when he had seven at Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12.
* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes broke the school record on Feb. 9 with his 100th game started, breaking the previous record of 99 set by Marc Axton (2002-05). Forbes has played in 115 games to rank sixth in school history, and could break Axton’s school record of 119 games played. If he doesn’t miss any more games, Forbes will tie the record on Senior Day on March 2 versus North Dakota. The only two games he missed in his career came this season versus North Dakota (1/17/13) because of a knee injury and against Montana State (1/31/13) because of a hand injury. Now a 101-game starter, Forbes has averaged 29.9 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He ranks eighth in school history with 114 career steals, just four from reaching No. 6. He is also third in 3-pointers made (166) and third in attempts (444). He is 18 makes and 55 attempts away from school records. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 86.3 percent (158-of-183), but he is 47 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 111 career games to rank seventh in school history, and also ranks in the top 10 on several Eastern season and career lists for 3-point shooting. On career charts, his 138 makes and his 409 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 125 3-pointers rank sixth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 324 attempts are sixth and his .386 percentage is currently 10th. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 137 of 186 games for a .737 winning percentage. His junior college and high school teams won 114 of 131 games (87 percent).
* 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.
Recent Game Summaries
* Eastern had a 21 percent shooting advantage and rolled past Southern Utah 86-72 Feb. 16 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game. The eighth-place Eagles made a season-best 53.7 percent of their shots from the field, leading to a season high of 86 points. The third-place Thunderbirds, meanwhile, made only 32.8 percent from the field. Senior Colin Chiverton led the Eagles with 18 points in just 10 minutes of action, and sophomore Parker Kelly had 15. Sophomore Martin Seiferth finished with his second double-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Tyler Harvey, the hero of last Saturday’s come-from-behind 77-74 overtime win at Northern Arizona, chipped in 11 points. Eastern won the rebounding battle 41-40 over a team that ranked second in the league in rebounding margin (+3.9 per game). Although SUU had 16 offensive boards, the Thunderbirds only had a 14-9 edge in second-chance points. Eastern also had a 16-4 advantage in fast-break points.
* Down by 18 with 7:35 left to play in regulation, Eastern head coach Jim Hayford still had a couple of tricks up his sleeve, and one of them was redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey. The redshirt freshman came off the bench to score 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable 77-74 overtime victory over Northern Arizona Feb. 9 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Harvey had entered the game with 17 points (high of six), while averaging just 4.8 minutes in the 13 games he had played as an Eagle. He made 5-of-6 shots overall and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line against the Lumberjacks; before that he had made only 6-of-17 overall and 3-of-9 treys for the season. Eastern trailed by 13 when Harvey entered the game for the second time with 3:42 left, and he never came out after that. Sophomore Parker Kelly led the Eagles with a career-high 19 points, and senior Kevin Winford scored 12 with five assists and a career-high four steals. Senior Jeffrey Forbes chipped in 10 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left that provided the final margin, as well as four assists and a career-high eight rebounds, After making just two of their first 17 shots in the second half – including only 1-of-13 3-point shots – the Eagles fell behind by 18 with 7:35 to play. But the Eagles made 10 of their last 17 shots (59 percent), including nine of their last 15 from the 3-point stripe (60 percent). Besides the four treys made by Harvey, Kelly had three and Winford and Jordan Hickert each had one in the final 11:04 of the game. Kelly’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation and a subsequent defensive stop helped send the game into overtime tied at 66. Harvey hit a pair of treys in overtime, and Kelly had one, as EWU led by as many as five in the extra period. In all, Eastern out-scored NAU 26-8 in the last 6:34 in regulation and 11-8 in overtime. After taking its 58-40 lead, NAU scored its next 10 points at the free throw line, including a stretch of 9:38 without a field goal. Hayford used a trapping defense in the final four minutes of the second half to complete the comeback and help force the game into overtime. Northern Arizona finished the game at 48 percent from the field, but was guilty of 19 turnovers, including 12 of them after intermission. Eastern scored a season-high 21 points off turnovers, but the main difference in the game was EWU’s 14-of-43 shooting from the 3-point line.
* Read more at: http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Quoting Coach Jim Hayford
On Win Over Southern Utah: “Getting a win makes us happy. One of the things I appreciate about our team is through all the adversity, we have kept improving. We have won four of our last six and we are in the fight to get in the Big Sky Tournament. I don’t think there is a lot of difference between the third and eleventh place teams in the Big Sky. We have to keep grinding, and we did that (against SUU). I am really proud of my team.”
On NAU Win: “It’s just a fantastic win for us. When you look at where it puts us in the race to achieve our goal of making the Big Sky Tournament, it’s even more dramatic. So I’m really, really happy for our players. I’m really proud of our team -- what a great day for all of our players. You couldn’t write it up to be any more dramatic.”
On Tyler Harvey Down the Stretch in Comeback Win Over NAU: “We said, ‘alright Tyler, let’s go.’ We wanted to start chipping away and cut it to 10, then get it cut down more. And it started happening. What inspiration from Tyler. He has amazing character and is an outstanding young man. It’s great for him to have this moment -- the team had him on their shoulders in the locker room passing him around, yelling and cheering. That substitution brought some inspiration, and then the rest of our team was playing at the top of their level.”
On Late-Game Defensive Strategy Versus NAU: “We decided to make it a long four minutes. We were going to trap like crazy, and if they broke the trap we were going to foul the next player and make it a longer game. We did that and executed it. We got real feisty. We put five guards on the court and picked them up full court defensively. The pressure switched on them and away from us. We made a great stop to get it to the overtime, then Tyler made two threes that let us get hold of the lead for good.”
On BracketBuster Game Versus Sam Houston State: “It continues our rivalry between Cheney, Wash., and the suburbs of Houston. We’re looking forward to hosting them, in part because it’s the last BracketBuster match-up. They are one of the better defensive teams in the country and have a really-balanced scoring team. It will be a good opponent for us and it will mean we will go back down to Texas and play them there too. Especially for our team, it gives us a chance to take a breath and play a different kind of game. We are not playing for our postseason life (in that game), and we can use it to make us better. It’s another home game and a chance to win on our home floor. I see a lot of positives in playing this game.”
On Chiverton & Winford Versus MSU on Jan. 31: “The big thing for us was down the stretch is that we had seniors step up. Kevin was a great defensive rebounder in the second half, and Collin made free throws down the stretch. That’s showing the young guys how to do it. When you get those kinds of contributions it will be fun. It is going to be a lot better result.”
On Venky Jois: “Venky has been our most consistent player. He is a great leader even though he is only a freshman. The biggest compliment (I can give him) is that I expect him to play that way.”
On Kevin Winford & Jeffrey Forbes at MSU: “Kevin and Jeff gave great senior performances to lead and show our team how you play on the road. I just want to give those two young men a lot of credit. They both have amazing personal character, are great guys and they really did lead by example.”
On Toughness After ISU Win & WSU Loss: “We need to keep building toughness. The way you get toughness is you face adversity, and you find success against it. When you face adversity -- and fail against it -- you go up the next time and you look for success. That’s what we are committed to do as a coaching staff.”
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.”