Nov. 22, 2006
The Big Sky Conference announced on Wednesday (Nov. 22) that
Both teams were able to make incredible runs after poor starts to their league campaigns. Benson helped bring a young team together after a 0-5 start to its league campaign to finish 10-6 and finish third, the 11th straight year that the Eagles have placed third or higher in the final regular-season standings. The Eagles claimed 13-of-15 matches to close the season. Meanwhile, Givens brought the Wildcats back from a 4-23 mark (1-11 in Big Sky play) to five straight wins to close the season and qualify for the Big Sky Championship.
The Eagles followed up their regular-season showing with impressive performances at the Big Sky Championship. Eastern would top Given's Weber State squad in four games in the quarterfinal round before sweeping the second seed, Portland State, in dramatic fashion, 30-26, 32-30, 34-32. The run finally came to an end at the hands of the host and regular-season champion Sacramento State Hornets in four games. The appearance in the championship contest was the seventh straight for Eastern.
The award is the second for Benson, as he also garnered the 2002 honors with