November 22, 2007

Eagles Fall to Virginia Tech 69-52

Nov. 22, 2007

Final Stats

The Eastern Washington University men's basketball team fell into the consolation bracket of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout by falling to Virginia Tech 69-52 late Wednesday (Nov. 21) at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska.

True freshman Trey Gross led Eastern with 18 points as the Eagles now face Michigan in the consolation bracket Friday (Nov. 23). Eastern's game with the Wolverines from the Big 10 Conference begins at 1 p.m. Pacific time and may be heard in the Spokane area on KJRB 790-AM and via the web at http://www.790thefan.com.

Gary Gibson chipped in 10 points for the Eagles, who led 6-5 but fell behind 30-18 at halftime after Virginia Tech went on an 11-0 run. Five Hokies scored in double figures as Virginia Tech improved to 2-0 and EWU fell to 1-4.

In other action Wednesday, No. 22 Butler set a tournament record with 17 three-pointers to defeat Michigan 79-65. DeShawn Sims led Michigan with 14 points. Ron Coleman and Manny Harris each had 12.

Eastern had early baskets by Gross, Kellen Williams and Adris DeLeon to claim its 6-5 early advantage against VT. But later in the quarter, EWU went 6:15 without scoring as the Hokies turned a slim 18-14 lead into a 29-14 advantage with their 11-0 run.

Gross scored 14 points in the second half to keep EWU close as the Eagles were only outscored 39-34 after intermission. Eastern pulled to within seven at 45-38 on a three-pointer by Gross with 11 minutes left, and a basket by Brandon Moore kept Eastern within eight at 53-45 with 6:01 to play.

But a three-pointer by A.D. Vassallo and a pair of buckets by freshman Jeff Allen gave Virginia a 15-point cushion. The Hokies led by as many as 19 in the final seconds.

Allen had 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals for Virginia Tech. Vasallo added 11 and senior Deron Washington had 10. The leading scorers for VT were Malcolm Delaney with 18 and Hank Thorns with 14.

Eastern made just 28 percent of its shots in the first half, but improved to 52 percent in the second half to finish at 39 percent for the game. Eastern was out-rebounded 31-24, with Williams leading the way for Eastern with six boards to go along with his nine points in just under 40 minutes of action.

Gross made 5-of-7 shots from the field, including all three of his three-point attempts, and made 5-of-5 free throws. Post players Matthew Brunell and Moore both fouled out for EWU after playing 12 and 28 minutes, respectively.

Virginia Tech made 51 percent of its shots in the game, including 58 percent in the second half.

The Hokies were well-rested having defeated Elon 69-64 on Nov. 9 in their opener. Last year, Virginia Tech was 22-12 and defeated Illinois 54-52 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Southern Illinois 63-48 in the second round.

Allen, a 6-7, 258-pound forward, led the Hokies against Elon with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, two blocked shots and a pair of assists. He made 7-of-11 shots from the floor including a three-pointer. Washington, a 6-7 senior, also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Vassallo, a 6-6 guard, had 17 points in the season-opening victory.

The Wolverines are now 2-2, opening the season with victories over Radford 82-55 and Brown 72-57. Michigan lost to Georgetown 74-52 prior to the loss to Butler.

Harris leads Michigan with a 15.0 scoring average and Sims is right behind at 13.8. A true freshman from Detroit, Mich., Harris is a 6-foot-5 guard. Sims is a 6-8 sophomore forward.

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