Eagles jump out to 11-0 lead and cruise in final tuneup for visit to Irvine, Calif., where EWU will play three games in three days
It wasn't the marquee win the Eagles had hoped to notch just two days earlier, but it helps.
Coming two rebounds shy of a rare 20-20 performance, junior Martin Seiferth finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds as the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team rolled to a 82-44 victory over Walla Walla Tuesday (Nov. 19) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
“Today gave us a great opportunity to put the Husky game behind us, to play against someone else and to put a win on our record,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford, whose team led Washington for 30 minutes Sunday (Nov. 17) before losing 92-80. “I felt like Walla Walla was a well-coached team, and I really appreciate the effort they put forth tonight. At the end of the day, this is a game we should win and we did.”
The 6-foot-10 Seiferth had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone as EWU jumped out to an 11-0 lead and had a 36-20 advantage at intermission. He came close to his career highs of 27 points and 21 rebounds set in games last season. The last time EWU had a 20-20 performance was Paul Butorac against Lewis-Clark State College on Nov. 18, 2006.
Point guard Drew Brandon had the 28th performance in school history in double figures in assists with 10, to go along with nine rebounds, four steals and three points. He is now averaging 10.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game after his first three games in NCAA Division I.
“Drew Brandon is a fantastic rebounder,” said Hayford. “He was a rebound away from a double-double tonight. He is averaging 9.5 rebounds over our first three games. His best rebounding game was at the University of Washington, it wasn’t against Pacific or Walla Walla.”
Sophomore Tyler Harvey, who scored 28 in the near-miss against Washington, had 12 points in the second half to finish with 15 on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Sophomore Venky Jois added 14 points and three assists after scoring 12 in the first 20 minutes.
Eastern made 48 percent of its shots from the floor, compared to 30 percent for the Wolves. Eastern also had a 46-30 advantage in rebounds and had nine fewer turnovers (16-7).
“Rebounding is something we better improve on from last year, or we will have the same results,” said Hayford. “Drew really helps us. He really helps us on the boards, and he knows how to run the offense. As he gets more comfortable, we are going to get better and better.”
Eastern is now 2-1 this season heading into a stretch of three games in three days from Nov. 22-24 in Irvine, Calif., as part of the of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. Walla Walla, a NAIA independent, is now 0-9 on the season.
In Irvine, The Eagles play Boston University, LIU Brooklyn and UC Irvine – teams which had a collective record of 58-43 (57 percent) a year ago, and were 34-18 (65 percent) in their respective leagues.