EWU Headed for Tough End to Big Sky Season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EWU Headed for Tough End to Big Sky Season

Tyler Harvey and the EWU men's basketball team will look to improve their Big Sky standing this week. Tyler Harvey and the EWU men's basketball team will look to improve their Big Sky standing this week.

by EWU Athletics

The race to seven Big Sky Conference Tournament berths is murky at best, and the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team has found itself in the middle of the fog.

Coming off a split with a road win and a home loss, the Eagles now must head back on the road for its most difficult -- if not the most important -- road trip of the league season. Eastern plays at Northern Colorado on Thursday (Feb. 27) at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time, then plays at North Dakota on March 1 in a game that begins at 12:05 p.m. Pacific time and is broadcast by the MidCo Sports Network.

Earlier this season at Reese Court, Eastern fell to UND 73-61 before knocking off UNC in overtime by a 94-90 score. Last week, the Eagles picked up an 85-74 win at Southern Utah on Feb. 22, but fell two nights later at home to Portland State by an 87-76 score on Feb. 24.

The home loss creates a four-way tie for sixth place in the league standings between EWU, PSU, Northern Arizona and Montana State at 8-8. Had EWU won, they would have moved into a tie for third.

Eastern head coach Jim Hayford hopes that 10 league victories would get his team to the postseason, but knows that in a year of balance and in the world of tiebreakers, a .500 team might just get left home this season.

“We have a large amount of teams at 8-8,” said Hayford, whose team closes out the season with home games against Idaho State (March 6) and Weber State (March 8). “We still get two home games, and if we defend our home court we will have 10 wins.”

The Big Sky is a jumble right now, with just three games separating second (Northern Colorado at 10-6) from 10th (Idaho State at 7-9) in the standings. Weber State leads at 12-4 and is in position to host the tourney, but has lost two of its last three. Such parity would be the overriding factor in Hayford’s pitch to advance more than seven of the 11 conference teams to the league tournament in the future.

“There is nothing I have ever seen like this,” he said. “I do know that if it was a 10-team tournament, there wouldn’t be a bad game out there. There is going to be a good team or two that gets left out of the tournament. That is tough.

“I hope it is not us,” he added. “We are going to play hard, and we are going to win so we are in that tournament.”

On the season, Northern Colorado is 16-9, has the best winning percentage in the league (.640) and is a perfect 13-0 at home this season. North Dakota, which hosts PSU on Thursday, is part of a three-way tie for third in the league standings at 9-7, is 12-14 overall and 8-3 at home.

Despite the setback to Portland State, the Eagles have still won five of its last seven games after a 3-6 start in the league. Prior to its three-game winning streak ended versus the Vikings, Eastern was ninth in the league standings.

Sophomore guard Tyler Harvey continues his scoring onslaught for the Eagles, scoring 26 at Southern Utah and 23 versus PSU to bump his season average to 21.8 and his point total to 589 – fifth-most in school history. He has had performances of 36, 37 and 38 since Jan. 23. Now with three of the top 17 scoring performances in school history, Harvey scored 36 in the first meeting with Southern Utah, had 38 versus Northern Colorado on Feb. 1 and then had 37 against Northern Arizona on Feb. 15. All three of those meetings came at home.

Harvey ranks in the top 11 nationally in three categories, and his 97 3-pointers this season are on pace to finish the regular season with 111 and break the school record of 103 set by Shannon Taylor in 1999. He’s already seventh in Big Sky history, with the record 124.

  • College

    • EWU Athletic Director Bill Chaves joins SWX Tonight after playoff snub

      Despite being ranked 19th in the STATS FCS rankings, Eastern Washington fell short of and FCS Tournament berth. On Monday, just over 24 hours after the snub, Eagle Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX Tonight to talk about missing the playoffs, recap Aaron Best's first year at the helm and take a look at the university's basketball programs.

    • Press Pass Pullman: Apple Cup Week

      In this week's episode of Press Pass Pullman, Mike Leach tackles important topics like how to win your family Thanksgiving football game. Before that, he talks about preparing for the Huskies with a bye week, Jake Browning, and playoffs. In the (extended) 'Fan Question of the Week,' he touches on holiday traditions, turducken, and which states are his favorite and least favorite. Theo Lawson also joins the show to discuss this year's UW squad and last year's Apple Cup.

    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 11/20

      Check out the football championship edition of our Super 8 Plays of the Week.

    • Eags fall short against Georgia State in MGM Resorts Main Event opener

      Eagle head coach Shantay Legans knew the Panthers were going to be a handful for his road-weary team, and a valiant defensive effort in the first half and game-ending 11-1 run by EWU wasn't enough.

    • Eags denied playoff spot as Sblendorio picks up final weekly honor

      By EWU Athletics A near record-breaking performance by wide receiver Nic Sblendorio earned him an honor on Sunday (Nov. 19), but earlier in the day the Eastern Washington University football team was dealt a shocking blow when it was not selected to play in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.   Eastern wrapped up a 7-4 finish overall and 6-2 record in league play with a 59-33 romp over Portland State on Saturday, a game in which the senior caught nine ...
    • Gonzaga uses huge 2nd half to beat Utah State 79-66

      The 3-point shooting of Utah State gave No. 17 Gonzaga fits in the first half on Saturday night. The Aggies threw a scare into Gonzaga before the Bulldogs woke up in the second half and rolled to a 79-66 victory.

    • Eagles win big over Portland State 59-33

      After receiving first-round byes in the previous five appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, the Eagles are in a wait-and-see mode following a dominant 59-33 Big Sky Conference victory over Portland State.

    • Vandals struggle in 13-7 loss to Coastal Carolina

      Idaho found the end zone on the game’s opening drive, but Coastal Carolina accounted for the rest of the scoring as the Vandals (3-7, 2-4 Sun Belt) suffered a 13-7 defeat in their home finale Saturday.

    • Cougars roll past Idaho State 83-62

      Robert Franks had 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists, Malachi Flynn added 15 points and Washington State used a big second-half run to beat Idaho State 83-62 on Saturday.

    • Bobcats win the 117th Brawl of the Wild 31-23 in Bozeman

      BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State Bobcats defeated the Montana Grizzlies 31-23 to win the 117th Brawl of the Wild. It's the first time since 2005 that the Cats won a game against the Griz in Bozeman.  The Bobcats ran for 322 yards on the ground, making it the second consecutive year that they have put up over 250 yards of rushing on Montana's defense. Cats sophomore quarterback Chris Murray accounted for 133 yards of that total, as well as throwing the ball for 98 yards. The G...
    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/