Eastern Beats Southern Utah. 86-72 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Eastern Beats Southern Utah. 86-72

Posted:

CHENEY, Wash. – Eastern Washington had a 21 percent shooting advantage and rolled past Southern Utah 86-72 Saturday (Feb. 16) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game.

The eighth-place Eagles made a season-best 53.7 percent of their shots from the field, leading to a season high of 86 points. The third-place Thunderbirds, meanwhile, made only 32.8 percent from the field. After losing four-straight games in late January, Eastern has won four of its last six.

"Getting a win makes us happy," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. "One of the things I appreciate about our team is through all the adversity, we have kept improving. We have won four of our last six and we are in the fight to get in the Big Sky Tournament. I don't think there is a lot of difference between the third and eleventh place teams in the Big Sky. We have to keep grinding, and we did that today. I am really proud of my team."
Senior Colin Chiverton led the Eagles with 18 points in just 10 minutes of action, and sophomore Parker Kelly had 15. Sophomore Martin Seiferth finished with his second double-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Tyler Harvey, the hero of last Saturday's come-from-behind 77-74 overtime win at Northern Arizona, chipped in 11 points in 14 minutes of action.
The win provided a boost in EWU's chase for a berth to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Eagles improved to 6-9 in the league and 8-17 overall, while Southern Utah slipped to 8-8 in the league and 10-15 on the season. The Thunderbirds have lost their last three games following a five-game winning streak.
Eastern now plays at Portland State on Monday (Feb. 18) before returning home for its next three. The Eagles play Feb. 23 versus Sam Houston State in the ESPN BracketBusters, then host Northern Colorado on Feb. 28 and North Dakota on March 2.
"It was a good, solid win," said Hayford, whose team is now 6-5 at home this season and 1-11 on opponent home courts (1-1 at neutral sites). "We will enjoy it for a little bit, and Portland State comes up in a few days, so let's see if we can get two road wins."
Eastern set a pair of blocked shots records against the Thunderbirds. Venky Jois had five blocks, giving him 55 for the season and break the school record of 51 set by Paul Butorac in 2006. The Eagles finished with 10 as a team to give them 138 on the season, breaking the EWU record of 130 set in the 2005-06 season. Seiferth has 46 blocks to rank third all-time behind Jois and Butorac.
"Venky and Martin are athletic players," said Hayford. "They are a presence inside. They are a freshman and a sophomore, so we have to balance their athleticism with smarts and wisdom."
Jois, who had missed EWU's last three games with a sprained ankle, played 22 minutes and finished with one point and five rebounds. He had entered the game with averages of 13.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, but plenty of other players picked up the offensive slack.
Eastern, which entered the game ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in 3-pointers made per game (8.7), attempted just 15 versus the Thunderbirds. Eastern made six, just one game after establishing a season-high for attempts in a 14-of-43 performance at NAU.
Eastern also won the rebounding battle 41-40 over a team that ranked second in the league in rebounding margin (+3.9 per game). Although SUU had 16 offensive boards, the Thunderbirds only had a 14-9 edge in second-chance points.
"We knew (rebounding) was going to be a big deal," said Hayford. "They shot 30 percent from the field. We can hold them to a low field goal percentage, but we just couldn't let them get points off of rebound putbacks. We did a good job cleaning up the boards."
Eastern also had a 16-4 advantage in fast-break points.
"That was part of our game plan," said Hayford. "We felt that we are the team that has rested seven days, and they played two days ago. They are on the road, and we are at home. Let's just keep pushing it, keep pushing it. I thought that got us some easy buckets."
The Eagles used a trio of 5-0 runs in the first half to lead by as many as 11 in the first half. A 3-pointer by Kelly gave the Eagles a 37-26 lead with 1:58 left in half, and EWU led 39-31 at intermission. Chiverton paced the Eagles with 13 points in the first 20 minutes.
Eastern opened a 58-41 lead in the second half on a basket by Jeffrey Forbes to cap a 7-0 Eastern run. Chiverton scored the other five points in the run, as he made 3-of-5 3-pointers in the game, and was 5-of-8 overall (5-of-7 at the free throw line).
An 8-0 SUU run cut Eastern's lead to nine, but Seiferth made a pair of baskets in a 6-0 EWU spurt to regain a 15-point advantage with 8:29 left. The closest Southern Utah came after that was nine, as Harvey scored all 11 of his points in the final 6:10. One game earlier when EWU rallied from an 18-point deficit against NAU, Harvey scored 14 points in the final 8:31.
 
  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Rosen, Cougars Too Much for Gonzaga

    Rosen, Cougars Too Much for Gonzaga

    The Washington State University baseball team defeated Gonzaga 5-1 in a local non-conference matchup at the Patterson Baseball Complex on Tuesday, April 15.More >>
    The Washington State University baseball team defeated Gonzaga 5-1 in a local non-conference matchup at the Patterson Baseball Complex on Tuesday, April 15.More >>
  • Former Zag Star, Indiana Fever's Haiden Palmer in Studio

    Former Zag Star, Indiana Fever's Haiden Palmer in Studio

    Former Gonzaga star guard and 29th overall pick in the 2014 Women's National Basketball League draft, Haiden Palmer, joined SWX's Michelle Dapper in studio on Tuesday, April 15. More >>
    Former Gonzaga star guard and 29th overall pick in the 2014 Women's National Basketball League draft, Haiden Palmer, joined SWX's Michelle Dapper in studio on Tuesday, April 15. More >>
  • WSU Basketball Roster Changes

    WSU Basketball Roster Changes

    James Hunter and Royce Woolridge have chosen to transfer and have been granted their releases from the Washington State University men’s basketball program; while signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) and will not enroll at WSU this fall, head coach Ernie Kent announced Tuesday.More >>
    James Hunter and Royce Woolridge have chosen to transfer and have been granted their releases from the Washington State University men’s basketball program; while signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) and will not enroll at WSU this fall, head coach Ernie Kent announced Tuesday.More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEastern WashingtonMore>>

  • Eagles Complete First Spring Scrimmage

    Eagles Complete First Spring Scrimmage

    Eastern Washington University quarterbacks combined for four touchdown passes to highlight the first football scrimmage of spring practice for the Eagles Saturday morning, April 12, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.More >>
    Eastern Washington University quarterbacks combined for four touchdown passes to highlight the first football scrimmage of spring practice for the Eagles Saturday morning, April 12, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.More >>
  • EWU to Scrimmage on Roos Field Before 43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational

    EWU to Scrimmage on Roos Field Before 43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational

    At some Eastern Washington University football scrimmages, a veritable track meet tends to break out. This Saturday it will, literally, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. As a precursor to the 43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational Track and Field Meet, the Eagle football team will use the North end of “The Inferno” to practice and scrimmage as the Eagles conclude their first full week of spring practices.More >>
    At some Eastern Washington University football scrimmages, a veritable track meet tends to break out. This Saturday it will, literally, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. As a precursor to the 43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational Track and Field Meet, the Eagle football team will use the North end of “The Inferno” to practice and scrimmage as the Eagles conclude their first full week of spring practices.More >>
  • EWU Football Kicks Off Spring Practices

    EWU Football Kicks Off Spring Practices

    The Eastern Washington football team kicked off its spring practice campaign at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. on Friday, April 4.More >>
    The Eastern Washington football team kicked off its spring practice campaign at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. on Friday, April 4.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.