Eastern Heads Out On Road for Final Time Before Conference Play - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Eastern Washington Basketball

Eastern Heads Out On Road for Final Time Before Conference Play

EWU will play on the road for the last time Monday before beginning the Big Sky portion of its schedule on Dec. 20 EWU will play on the road for the last time Monday before beginning the Big Sky portion of its schedule on Dec. 20
CHENEY, Wash. -

Eastern Washington will hit the road one more time before beginning the Big Sky portion of their basketball season later this month.

The Eagles (2-7) play at UC Davis on Monday. The Big Sky season begins with Weber State in Cheney on Dec. 20, followed by Idaho State on Dec. 22.

For head coach Jim Hayford, the pre-conference season has been all about getting the new players experience.

"The same thing we do every night is get more experience," said Hayford. "It's hard with some of these younger guys -- Martin played 50 minutes at Oregon and sat out last year, Thomas and Venky are true freshmen, and Parker (Kelly) is a sophomore. We are playing a lot of underclassmen. They are playing a lot harder than they did in high school so they are growing. But there is a difference between (how hard they played in high school) and what you need to do to be successful (at this level). To be on the other side of these games, (losses like the Seattle game) have to happen to you a few times for you to realize, ‘I have to play harder than that.'"

 

Read the news release from EWU about the Eagles' upcoming games:

Experience, experience, experience.

That's what Eastern Washington University men's basketball coach Jim Hayford hopes his team continues to receive when the Eagles close out their pre-conference schedule with a road game at UC Davis this Monday (Dec. 17) at 7 p.m. Pacific time in Davis, Calif.

The Eagles will enter the game with a 2-7 overall mark after going 1-2 on a recent three-game homestand. The Aggies enter its match-up at Stanford on Saturday (Dec. 15) with a 1-5 record, having defeated Sacramento State from the Big Sky Conference 87-76 on the road on Nov. 20.

The Eagles had a successful home opener Nov. 30 with a 79-75 win over Cal State Fullerton, but then lost 81-79 in overtime to Idaho on Dec. 6 and 75-69 to Seattle on Dec. 10. Conference play is a week away, and the Eagles will host Weber State on Dec. 20 at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time, then host Idaho State two days later at 2:05 p.m.

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.

Eastern's starting lineup the last three games has included a quartet of newcomers – transfers Martin Seiferth (Oregon) and Justin Crosgile (St. Joseph's) along with freshmen Venky Jois and Thomas Reuter. Hayford knows there is talent, but also some growing pains.

"The same thing we do every night is get more experience," said Hayford. "It's hard with some of these younger guys -- Martin played 50 minutes at Oregon and sat out last year, Thomas and Venky are true freshmen, and Parker (Kelly) is a sophomore.

"We are playing a lot of underclassmen," he continued. "They are playing a lot harder than they did in high school so they are growing. But there is a difference between (how hard they played in high school) and what you need to do to be successful (at this level). To be on the other side of these games, (losses like the Seattle game) have to happen to you a few times for you to realize, ‘I have to play harder than that.'"

In the loss to Seattle, the Redhawks made 50 percent of their shots from the field while the Eagles made only 37 percent. It was the fifth time this season Eastern has made less than 40 percent of its shots from the field. The Eagles have made just 39.8 percent for the season, and are 2-0 when they've made at least 45 percent and 0-7 when they are under that mark.

Eastern played the Aggies a year ago in Hayford's debut season. Thanks to a 19-1 run in the second half, the Eagles won the first-ever meeting between the two schools 79-59 in Cheney. The lone common opponent for both teams this season is Idaho – UC Davis lost in Moscow, Idaho, on Dec. 1 by a 73-66 score.

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