Eagles Host Big Sky Games Thursday and Saturday
Meetings versus Northern Arizona and Sacramento State are important to EWU’s hopes of scraping together enough wins to qualify for the Big Sky Conference Tournament
Thursday, Jan. 10 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney,
6:05 p.m. Pacific - Northern Arizona (5-9/2-2) at Eastern Washington (3-11/1-3)
Saturday, Jan. 12 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney,
6:05 p.m. Pacific - Sacramento 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.
TV: The Sacramento State game is televised live
in the Eastern Washington region on SWX (SWX Digital 6.2 in
Spokane, 25.3 in the Tri-Cities & 23.3 in the Yakima area;
Comcast 115; Davis Cable 514/81.2/12; Time Warner 306; Charter 287,
Cable One 466; Northland Cable 115)
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)
After an agonizing road trip, the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team is back at home with a goal on its mind – to scrape together enough wins in the next two months to qualify for the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
Thus, this week’s games are important as EWU hosts Northern Arizona on Thursday (Jan. 10) and Sacramento State on Saturday (Jan. 12) in a pair of games that begin at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Sacramento State game is televised live in the Eastern Washington region on SWX.
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.
In its most recent outing, Eastern let a 15-point second-half lead slip through its fingers in a 70-68 overtime loss at Montana State on Jan. 5. Two days earlier, Eastern fell 81-66 to Montana, which is the preseason favorite to repeat as Big Sky Conference champion. Eastern had its best back-to-back shooting percentages of the season in the road losses.
“We’ll get better from it,” said Hayford, whose team has already played teams picked to finish first (Montana) or second (Weber State) in the Big Sky this year. “Our goal is to hunt out some wins to get into the Big Sky Tournament. We are getting better -- we played well this week – we played a lot better than the Weber State-Idaho State weekend. I am proud of our players and we’ll keep pushing through it.”
Eastern is now 1-3 in the league and 3-11 overall, while Northern Arizona is 2-2 in the league and 5-9 overall. The Lumberjacks have already equaled their win total of a year ago when they finished 5-24 overall and 1-15 in the league. One of NAU’s league wins this season was a 57-50 home victory over Sac State on Jan. 3.
Sacramento State is 1-2 in the Big Sky and 6-5 overall entering a home game against Southern Utah on Monday (Jan. 7) and a road game at Portland State on Thursday (Jan. 10). The Hornets were 10-18 overall and 5-11 in the Big Sky last season, and, like NAU, did not qualify for the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
A year ago, Eastern swept Northern Arizona, winning 76-59 at home and 74-68 on the road. The Eagles won at Sacramento State 65-60, but then fell at home to the Hornets by a 75-71 score. The victory ended Sac State’s 15-game losing streak to the Eagles at Reese Court.
Eastern and Northern Arizona have both played UC Davis, Montana and Montana State this year. The Lumberjacks won at UC Davis (85-82) and beat MSU at home (87-70), but lost at home to Montana (62-56). Eastern was 0-3 against all three of those common opponents on the road, losing to UC Davis (87-65), Montana (81-66) and Montana State (70-68 in overtime).
Sacramento State has also played all three of those opponents, including home losses to UC Davis (87-76) and Montana (61-60), and a home victory against MSU (62-57).
With the league expanded to 11 teams, the Big Sky Conference Tournament includes seven teams this year and will take place Dec. 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.
PDF Link to Fact Book
The complete version of the 2012 EWU men’s basketball fact
book may be found at:
More Eagle Basketball Links
Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Link to Ticket Information: http://goeags.com/newtickets/tickets.html
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
* If NCAA statistics are any indication, plenty of points should be scored in this week’s games. Eastern enters the NAU game ranked 126th nationally and fourth in the Big Sky in scoring offense (70.1 per game), but is last in the league and 342nd out of 345 NCAA Division I teams in scoring defense (79.4 per game). Northern Arizona is 10th in the league and 342nd nationally in scoring defense (77.0), while Sacramento State ranks third in the Big Sky and 113th in NCAA Division I in scoring offense (70.7).
* As an illustration of their balance, the Eagles had six double figure scoring performances a week ago on the road at Montana and Montana State, but none were by the same player. Against the Grizzlies on Jan. 3, Venky Jois led the way with 16, with Collin Chiverton and Thomas Reuter coming off the bench to score 15 and 14, respectively. Two nights later at MSU, senior starters Jeffrey Forbes and Kevin Winford scored 18 and 13, respectively, and sophomore starter Martin Seiferth had 11.
* Senior point guard Kevin Winford had his most productive outing in two years when he finished with 13 points (on 3-of-3 shooting from the 3-point stripe) and six assists in EWU’s 70-68 overtime loss at Montana State on Jan. 5. Winford had his most points 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). 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.
* After leading NCAA Division I in 3-pointers made per game through games of Nov. 30, Eastern is now third through games of Dec. 6. The Eagles are averaging a league-leading 9.5 makes per game while attempting an average of 27.1. 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.
* Last week, true freshman Venky Jois was selected to the Collegehoopsdaily.com All-Big Sky Conference team from the first half of the season. The forward from Boronia, Australia, has had six double-doubles this season to rank 23rd in NCAA Division I (through games of Jan. 6). He had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in his most recent double-double versus Idaho State in a 57-54 Eagle win on Dec. 22. That came two days after he scored 21 points with five rebounds in EWU’s league opener versus Weber State. 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. For the season Jois is averaging 34.0 minutes, 13.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots, 1.0 steals and 1.5 assists per game. He leads the league in rebounding and ranks 43rd in NCAA Division I (through Jan. 6). 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’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 930 points in his 106-game Eastern career, could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. Forbes has averaged 30.8 minutes per game in his Eastern career with 95 starts. He ranks ninth in school history with 109 career steals, and is also fourth in 3-pointers made (159) and attempted (424). Winford has started 37 of the 102 games he has played (13th-most games played in school history), averaging 18.3 minutes per game. He has made 122-of-361 3-pointers in his career to rank fifth in school history in both categories, with a total of 614 points scored.
* Senior Collin Chiverton 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 following the death of a close friend in San Francisco. Previously, his mother passed away just as the season began. “He has gone through the most difficult two months of his life,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford in early December. “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 scored just 15 points in EWU’s first three outings, but has bumped his average to 10.5 for the season with a pair of season-best 19-point performances. Foul trouble hindered him early in the 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.
* Eastern is third in the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots with 64 already for an average of 4.6 per game to rank 71st in NCAA Division I. Individual Eagles are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, with Martin Seiferth averaging 1.9 per game to rank 63rd in NCAA Division I and Venky Jois averaging 1.6. The Eagles had a school-record 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 11.8 per game. Venky Jois is averaging 2.3 and Martin Seiferth has a 2.2 average to rank fifth and sixth, 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 nine in school history in career 3-pointers made. Jeffrey Forbes is fourth (159), Kevin Winford is fifth (122) and Collin Chiverton is eighth (106). In attempts, Forbes is fourth (424) and Winford (361) is fifth, and Chiverton is eighth in career 3-point field goal percentage (40.5).
* Despite ranking ninth in the Big Sky with a .395 shooting percentage, the Eagles had their best back-to-back shooting performances of the season when they made 45.7 percent against Montana on Jan. 3 and 44.6 percent two nights later versus Montana State. The Eagles were at 59 percent for the game versus MSU before making just three of their last 19 shots.
* Eastern is 3-1 when it holds opponents to 43.5 percent or less, and 0-10 when it doesn’t. Also, EWU is 1-10 when it shoots less than 45 percent from the field, but is 2-1 when it has a higher percentage than that. 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. Prior to that, Eastern’s lone wins were against USC Upstate (48 percent) and Cal State Fullerton (46 percent).
* The Montana loss 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.
* 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.
* Eastern’s game versus Montana on Saturday, Feb. 2 will be Alumni Appreciation Night, and includes free tickets for alumni if registered by Jan. 31. The event includes alumni basket drawings, a team tunnel spirit lineup at halftime for children ages 4-16, a family concession bundle (four hot dogs and four sodas for $20) and a post-game poster-signing session with players. In addition, the EWU Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will have a “Furry Friends Round-Up” that night to provide new or gently used stuffed animals to local children’s organizations. The game begins at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time, and registration for the event is available at: http://alumni.ewu.edu/events
More EWU Notes
* The 54 points the Eagles allowed in a three-point win over Idaho State on Dec. 22 were the fewest they surrendered by 16 – the previous best for the Eagles came in a 75-70 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Nov. 21. Eastern held the Bengals to 37.9 percent shooting from the field, which was EWU’s best defensive effort of the season. The previous best was a 38.1 percent effort versus Cal State Fullerton.
* 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.
* 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 9.9 points per game in his last eight games after scoring just 10 in the first five games he played. For the season, he is now averaging 6.8 points and 1.1 assists per game, while making 19-of-54 3-point shots for 35.2 percent.
* Martin Seiferth (Oregon) had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. Thus far, Seiferth is averaging 7.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. 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 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 letterwinners (not including redshirts), the Eagles 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.
* The EWU men’s basketball team 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.
* 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.
* Eastern finished 15-17 overall and was 8-8 in Big Sky Conference play to finish fourth in the 2011-12 season, 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. Northern Arizona Series Notes
* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 24-33 versus Northern Arizona, including a 7-20 record in Flagstaff, Ariz., 16-12 in Cheney and 1-1 on neutral courts. Eastern trails in the all-time series 24-34 (7-20 in Flagstaff, 16-12 in Cheney, 1-2 neutral). The only meeting before Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I was an 84-80 NAU victory on Dec. 20, 1969, in Fresno, Calif.
* Despite sweeping NAU in the 2011-12 season, the Eagles have lost 10 of the last 15 meetings. A 54-50 home victory in the 2008-09 season broke a five-game losing streak against the Lumberjacks. In winning 74-68 at NAU on Feb. 2, 2012, Eastern snapped a seven-game losing streak in Flagstaff, Ariz., dating back to Jan. 15, 2004, when Eastern was victorious 63-57. Until a 72-65 victory in Flagstaff in the 2000-2001 season, Eastern had lost nine-straight meetings there since Feb. 16, 1991. Coupled with a win later in the 2000-2001 season, Eastern swept the regular season meetings with the Lumberjacks for the first time in 10 years. Eastern duplicated that feat in 2003 and 2004, and again in 2012.
* Eastern had won six-straight games against the Lumberjacks and nine of the last 11 until falling 77-64 in Flagstaff on Feb. 5, 2005. The Lumberjacks beat EWU 105-95 on Jan. 5, 2006, in a game in which Eastern’s Rodney Stuckey scored a school-record 45 points.
EWU vs. Sacramento State Series Notes
* Since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season, the Eagles are 26-10 versus Sacramento State, and the two schools did not play against each other prior to that.
* The Eagles have won 19 of their last 25 games against the Hornets, and have a 16-2 record versus Sacramento State in Cheney and a 10-8 record in Sacramento. Until losing 75-71 on Feb. 4, 2012, Eastern had won the last 15 meetings at home against Sac State, dating back to a 68-67 Hornet victory on Jan. 19, 1995.
* Until falling 74-67 at Sacramento State on Feb. 7, 2010, the Eagles had won the last eight meetings dating back to an 88-69 Hornet victory on Jan. 7, 2006, also in Sacramento.
* Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes has played in 106 games to rank 10th in school history, and could break Marc Axton’s (2002-05) school record of 119 games played. A 95-game starter, Forbes has averaged 30.8 minutes per game in his Eastern career. He ranks ninth in school history with 110 career steals, just one from reaching No. 8. He is also fourth in 3-pointers made (159) and attempted (424). He is 25 makes and 75 attempts away from school records. In his career at the free throw line, Forbes has made what would be a school record at 88.3 percent (151-of-171), but he is 41 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 102 career games, and is just four 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 122 makes and his 361 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 106 3-pointers rank eighth on EWU’s top 10 career list, and his 262 attempts are 11 away from the No. 11 position. In the five seasons he has played since his junior year in high school, teams that Chiverton has played on have won 132 of 177 games for a .746 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
* Hot shooting was the recipe for success for Eastern on Jan. 5 in Bozeman, Mont., but suddenly the shots stopped falling as Montana State rallied for a 70-68 victory in overtime. Four Eagles scored at least nine points, as the Eagles led by as many as 15 in the second half. Eastern missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation and two potential game tying shots at the end of overtime. Although the Eagles had five more field goals – and six more 3-point goals – Eastern was out-scored 24-6 at the free throw line. Eastern missed nine of its last 10 shots in regulation – including a string of eight consecutive misses -- and was just 2-of-9 in overtime. Before that, Eastern was shooting at a 59 percent clip before settling at 45 percent for the game. The Eagles also had 20 turnovers compared to just eight for the Bobcats, as MSU had a 21-9 advantage in points off turnovers. Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes led the Eagles with a season-high 18 points with four 3-pointers, and senior point guard Kevin Winford had 13 points and six assists before fouling out late in the game. Six-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth finished with 11 points and six rebounds, and sophomore Parker Kelly added nine points with a trio of 3-pointers. Eastern played the last 6:38 and overtime without true freshman Venky Jois, who entered the game averaging 13.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Jois played only 25 minutes and finished with six points, seven rebounds and five assists.
* Eastern was out-shot 9-4 at the 3-point line and fell at Montana 81-66 on Jan. 3 in a Big Sky Conference men’s game at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont. The Grizzlies made 9-of-21 from the 3-point stripe (43 percent) after entering the game ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in 3-point percentage (40.7 percent) and 55th with an average of 7.7 treys per game. Eastern led D-I with an average of 9.8 per game, but made only 4-of-16 versus the Grizzlies. A 10-2 run – including a pair of 3-pointers -- helped the Grizzlies pull away from a 37-all tie in the second half. True freshman Venky Jois led the Eagles with 16 points and also had seven rebounds, a pair of assists and a blocked shot. Fellow true freshman Thomas Reuter had 14 points, making 5-of-6 shots from the field and adding eight rebounds. Senior Collin Chiverton had 14 points in his first action since Nov. 23.
* Read more at: http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Quoting Coach Jim Hayford
On Montana State Loss: “I’m very, very proud of our team. We played really, really well in the first half and second half. We were trading baskets in the second half and we needed some stops to stop the bleeding. It was a really good game – but there has to be a winner and a loser. Our team played really, really well, and I hurt for them that they couldn’t take a road win home with them. I’m proud of our team, but sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t go in your favor.”
On Kevin Winford & Jeffrey Forbes Versus 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 Montana Loss: “For the first 25 minutes of the game we looked like a real solid, cohesive unit playing with a purpose. That is something we can really, really build on. Then we had a spurt where we kept fouling and we went cold. That was the difference right there.”
More on Loss to Montana: “Everybody is learning how to play with each other. Venky (Jois) and Thomas (Reuter) both had great nights – Thomas was really, really solid. Daniel (Hill) made a few mistakes that come with only playing four games. We have to shoot a little better, especially if teams are going to zone us. We challenged (our players) to use the last six or seven minutes to get better as a team, and I thought we did that. There are some positives to build from. Montana is a really good team. We are going to come into this building and win games in the future.”
On Point Guard Daniel Hill: “Daniel is going to have a great career. He’s a solid point guard who makes everybody better. Along with senior Kevin Winford, I’m very confident in those players.”
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.”