Eastern will honor seniors Parker Kelly, Drew Brandon and Garrett Moon in EWU's first Senior Day in two years when Montana visits for 2:05 p.m. game Saturday
Saturday, February 28 -Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney, Wash.
2:05 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington (21-7/12-3 Big Sky) versus Montana (16-11/12-4 Big Sky)
TV: UM game televised live regionally by SWX.
Webcast: All Big Sky games are carried at http://www.watchbigsky.com and via the new iphone/android app "Watch Big Sky"
Radio: All Eastern games are on 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 22nd season calling the play-by-play, starting 20 minutes prior to tipoff.
Internet Radio: www.700espn.com or www.tunein.com
Radio iPhone App: Search for "Spokane Radio" and download app. An app is also available for tunein radio.
Live Stats: ewustats.com (EWU home games).
Senior Day has been a long time coming for the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team. And so have the stakes.
Eagle seniors Parker Kelly, Drew Brandon and Garrett Moon will be honored Saturday (Feb. 28) when the Montana Grizzlies visit Reese Court in a Senior Day game that begins at 2:05 p.m. and is televised regionally by SWX. The game may also be heard live via radio on 700-AM ESPN and via the web at www.700espon.com. It may also be viewed via www.watchbigsky.com and via "Watch Big Sky" mobile phone apps.
After the dust cleared on Thursday (Feb. 26), the Eagles reversed their fortunes and are now a half-game ahead of Montana in the league standings. While Eastern romped past Montana State 92-68, the Grizzlies fell in double-overtime at Idaho by a 92-87 score.
The race to the regular season title in the Big Sky Conference comes down to four teams and just a handful of games left for all the marbles, with 12-3 Eastern currently tied with Sacramento State for first place in the league standings. Montana is right behind at 12-4 and Northern Arizona is 11-4.
"I think it is going to be an unbelievable environment here at Reese Court," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford, whose team knocked off the Grizzlies in Missoula 75-69 on Feb. 5. "I am sure they want revenge because we went and beat them over there. We are both at the top of the standings -- it has all the makings of a great game. I know my team is going to bring a really focused effort and I can't wait. Come Saturday at 2 o'clock, let's go."
Now 21-7 on the season, EWU now owns school records for overall and Big Sky victories in 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I. The Eagles are 13-1 this season at Reese Court – its best home record in nearly 30 seasons.
Eastern has already wrapped up one of eight berths in the Big Sky Conference Tournament on March 12-14 at the site of the regular season champion. Eastern closes the regular season when they play at Idaho State on March 5 and Weber State on March 7. Last year, the Eagles were 15-16 overall and missed the Big Sky Conference Tournament with a 10-10 league mark.
Sacramento State's remaining games are road games at Portland State, Southern Utah and NAU. The Grizzlies play at EWU, then end the regular season at Montana State. The Lumberjacks play at Northern Colorado, then host Portland State and Sacramento State to end the season.
Head-to-head winning percentage is the first tiebreaker in the league. Earlier this season, Eastern defeated Montana, split with Sac State and lost to NAU. Besides its split with EWU, Sac State beat NAU in the first meeting and knocked off Montana in the lone meeting between those two schools. The Grizzlies won in their lone meeting this season against NAU, and also lost to Sac State and EWU. Northern Arizona is 0-1 versus Sac State and 0-1 against Montana, but was victorious in the lone meeting against EWU this season.
* After Saturday's game versus Montana, Eastern closes the regular season when they play at Idaho State on March 5 and Weber State on March 7. Earlier this season, Eastern opened is league season with an 84-78 home win on Jan. 1 over the Wildcats, the defending Big Sky champions and preseason pick to repeat. Two days later, Eastern beat Idaho State 65-57.
EWU vs. Montana Series Notes
* Eastern is 19-47 against the Grizzlies since 1983-84, including an 8-26 record in Missoula, 11-19 in Cheney and 0-2 on neutral courts versus the Grizzlies, who lead the overall series 64-40. Until winning 75-69 earlier this season, the Eagles had lost their last 12 meetings in Missoula, dating back to a 71-52 Eagle win on Feb. 7, 2004. Eastern's 69-62 win at home last season snapped UM's five-game winning streak against EWU. Eastern has lost 13 of the last 17 meetings and 19 of the last 24, including both games last year and all three meetings in the 2011-12 season.
* Earlier this season in Missoula, senior point guard Drew Brandon equaled his career high with 27 points to lead EWU to a 75-69 victory over the Grizzlies on Feb. 5 at Dahlberg Arena. Winning the game with defense, the Eagles led for 36:10 of the game – compared to just 2:22 for the Grizzlies -- en route to ending a 12-game losing streak to the Grizzlies in Missoula. Junior Venky Jois finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and equaled his career highs with seven assists and four steals. With Tyler Harvey sidelined with a quadriceps contusion, sophomore Felix Von Hofe made his second start of the season and second of his career. He finished with 12 points, just two off of his previous career high set against a non-Division I opponent. Eastern held the Grizzlies scoreless for stretches of 3:06, 3:19 and 3:50 during the contest. The Eagles used a pair of scoring runs and seven first-half 3-pointers to take a 33-29 lead at halftime, with Parker Kelly leading the way with a trio of 3-pointers and nine points. Eastern led early 9-0, then were ahead 22-17. After Eastern went 2:50 without scoring and fell behind 26-22, the Eagles responded with an 8-0 run to end the half in holding Montana without a point in the final 3:19. Tied at 52, Eastern held Montana scoreless for a 3:50 stretch to take a 59-52 lead. Shortly after that, Drew Brandon followed a steal and layin with a dunk down the middle of the key to give the Eagles a 63-54 advantage with 6:42 to play. The Eagles and Grizzlies combined for 24 3-pointers after entering the game with the most in the league. Eastern was 11-of-24 while the Grizzlies were 13-of-24. Eastern made 51 percent of its shots from the field and held Montana's two leading scorers – Martin Breunig and Jordan Gregory – to a combined 21 points on 6-of-24 shooting (25 percent). They both entered the game averaging more than 17 points per game.
* The Eagles and Grizzlies have played in two exciting overtime games in the last nine seasons. Eastern's 59-55 home victory over Montana in 2011 helped clinch a postseason berth for the Eagles and, in the process, kept the Grizzlies from clinching at least a share of the league title. In the 2005-06 season, Eastern lost 73-71 to Montana in overtime in the Big Sky Conference Tournament in Flagstaff, Ariz. Eastern trailed by 14 before a late 10-0 run put Eastern back into the game. But Eagle freshman Rodney Stuckey missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer to end regulation. Montana then went on a 6-0 run in overtime to end Eastern's season.
* Eastern is 0-4 versus Montana in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, including in 2002 when the fifth-seeded Grizzlies upset second-seeded EWU 70-66. Also included in the series history was an 81-75 victory in Missoula to end the 1998-99 season that clinched the sixth and final berth in the Big Sky Conference Tournament for the Eagles. That victory snapped Eastern's eight-game losing streak in Missoula. Also, a 77-75 Eagle home loss at the end of the 1999-2000 regular season kept EWU from hosting the league tournament and gave Montana a share of the Big Sky title in front of 5,426 fans at Reese Court in Cheney. The Eagles had taken a 12-point lead with 8:06 to play in the second half, but went the next 6:21 without scoring. During Montana's 17-0 run, the Eagles missed 10-straight field goal attempts while the Grizzlies made 6-of-7 shots. The loss was Eastern's first in eight conference home games. Montana made 4-of-6 free throws in the last 23 seconds to clinch the win and hold off Eastern's comeback attempt that included a trio of three-pointers in the last 1:45.
* Now 13-1 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., the Eagles have recorded their most victories at home since the 1985-86 season when the Eagles were 15-1. Only four total times since the facility opened in the 1975-76 season has Eastern won more than 12 games (15 in 1985-86, 1977-78 and 1976-77, and 13 in 1979-80). The Eagles began the year a perfect 12-0 at Reese Court, and won those games by a combined 206 points (17.2 per game). Eastern opened the season with a pair of impressive victories over NCAA Division I teams who participated in the postseason a year ago. The Eagles beat NCAA Tourney team Texas Southern (86-62) before defeating NIT participant Utah Valley (75-50), then romped past Walla Walla 95-34. The fourth victory at Reese Court was a 21-point victory over Northern Kentucky (81-60). Eastern defeated defending Big Sky Champion and preseason favorite Weber State (84-78) at home to open the league season. The team's 10th home win was a 102-80 victory over North Dakota in which the Eagles scored 67 second-half points. The 11th was a 98-95 overtime win over Idaho after the Eagles rallied from 17 down in the second half and 11 with 1:13 to play, with a driving layin at the buzzer by Drew Brandon sending it to overtime. The Eagles won their 12th at Reese Court on Feb. 12, leading by as many as 16 in the second half against Sacramento State before prevailing 64-61.
* Eastern is a perfect 6-0 thus far in football and men's basketball games against the Bobcats and Grizzlies. Last season, EWU was 5-for-5 until suffering an 82-77 road loss to Montana. Until last season, Eastern had never won more than four of the six meetings in any previous season.
* After beating Montana State 92-68 on Feb. 26, Eastern will be trying for its only second 4-0 sweep over the Montana schools in school history, dating back to 1990 when it was first accomplished. Earlier this year with a 75-69 triumph at Montana and a 61-51 victory at Montana State, Eastern had its first Big Sky Conference road sweep since 2004 when the Eagles also swept the Grizzlies and Bobcats. Also, that was only the fourth time in 28 seasons as a member of the Big Sky Conference the Eagles swept UM-MSU on the road. Besides 2015, the only such sweeps came in 1990, 2002 and 2004, which was the last time the Eagles had defeated Montana in Missoula. Only 10 times – of a possible 55 weekends of action – has EWU swept the Montana schools home or away.
* The Eagles are now 21-7 overall, equaling their most victories since becoming a NCAA Division I member in the 1983-84 season. Eastern has now been a DI member for 32 seasons, and the previous high-water mark was a 20-8 record as an independent in the 1985-86 season. Now in its 107th season of basketball, Eastern had 14 20-victory seasons as a member of the NAIA, but only four times did EWU exceed 23 wins (25 in 1976-77, 27 in 1944-45 and 1942-43 and a school-record 31 in 1945-46).
* The Eagles have equaled the school record for Big Sky wins in a season, set in 1999-00 when the Eagles were 12-4, which included a 5-2 start followed by six-straight victories. Eastern's 10-1 start in the league this season equaled the school's best after 11 games in EWU's 28-year history as a member of the Big Sky Conference, but EWU came a win shy of becoming just the second to improve to 11-1. The 2003-04 team – EWU's only squad to advance to the NCAA Tournament -- lost its league opener, then won 11 straight before finishing 11-3. The 1989-90 squad was 6-1, then lost a pair of games en route to an 11-5 finish.
* With the football team setting school and Big Sky Conference records in scoring at "The Inferno" at Roos Field this past fall, the hoops team is just as prolific on offense. The Eagles are averaging 80.5 points per game to lead the league and rank fifth in NCAA Division I. Eastern's season average is just off the school's Division I record of 84.2 set in the 2006-07 season, and quite a ways from the all-time mark of 90.2 set in 1971-72.
• In NCAA Division I statistics through games of Feb. 26, the Eagles are ranked fifth in scoring offense (80.5 per game), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (9.8) and 24th in blocked shots (5.1 per game). Eastern leads the league in all three categories. The Eagles are also 21st nationally and third in the Big Sky in field goal percentage (48.0 percent), 11th/third in 3-point field goal percentage (40.4 percent), 33rd/fourth in the league in free throw percentage (73.4 percent), 58th/2nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.23 per game) and are 29th/2nd in fewest turnovers per game (10.8).
* Eastern is ranked 18th in this week's Collegeinsider.com mid-major poll. EWU was ranked 14th on Feb. 16, and prior to that was a season-high 12th for two weeks (Feb. 9 and Feb. 2). Eastern was 13th on Jan. 26, 14th on Jan. 19 and 13th on Jan. 12. In the three previous weeks (Jan. 6, Dec. 29 and Dec. 22) the Eagles were 19th. The next poll will be announced the afternoon of Feb. 23.
* Eastern is now 18-0 when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent, 17-1 when making at least 45 percent of its shots and 11-1 when holding the opponent to less than 45 percent. The Eagles are also 11-2 when they out-rebound or equal opponents, 13-0 when they have at least 36 rebounds and 13-2 when they hold opponents to 35 or less. In addition, Eastern is 14-4 when forcing more/equal turnovers and 13-2 when it has 10 or less turnovers. The Eagles are also 18-2 when scoring 71 points or more and 9-1 when allowing 70 or less.
* The Eagles used the same starting lineup for 15 of their first 17 games this season, and was 11-4 in those 15 games. However, after injuries to its two leading scorers -- Venky Jois (ankle sprain) and Tyler Harvey (quadriceps contusion) – EWU was forced to use five different lineups in the next eight games. Eastern lost two of those games, with Jois missing both. The Eagles returned to their normal lineup on Feb. 19 versus Southern Utah, and the 78-75 victory made the grouping of Jois, Harvey, Drew Brandon, Parker Kelly and Ognjen Miljkovic 12-4 this season (that lineup is now 13-5).
* The Eagles have won games against teams from six different NCAA Division I conferences. In the preseason, Eastern won six games versus D-I opponents from the Big Ten, West Coast, Western Athletic, Atlantic Sun and Southwestern conferences.
* A 104-87 victory over Eastern Oregon on Nov. 30 gave EWU head coach Jim Hayford an even 300 victories in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He currently is 315-145 in 15-plus seasons as a head coach for a .685 winning percentage. He is 61-61 in 3+ seasons at EWU, was 217-57 at Whitworth and was 37-27 in two seasons at Sioux Falls.
Eagle Player Notes
* A year after not having a "Senior Day" because the Eagles were senior-less, Eastern will honor three Eagles playing in their final regular season home game of the season on Saturday (Feb. 28). The trio of Parker Kelly, Drew Brandon and Garrett Moon have combined for 326 games of experience (130 starts) for EWU, with Kelly playing four seasons and Brandon and Moon transferring from junior colleges.
* Senior Parker Kelly will play in his 120th game as an Eagle against Montana to rank second in school history, just one game behind the record of 121 (Jeffrey Forbes 2010-13). Kelly is the top 3-point shooter in EWU history not named Tyler Harvey. Kelly has 202 triples in his career, more than the 184 by former record holder Marc Axton (2002-05), who was passed by Harvey earlier this season (Harvey has a current total of 233). Kelly's 202 treys ranks 18th in Big Sky Conference history, and he is now just 31 points from becoming the 19th player in EWU history – and third this season – to go over the 1,000-point mark in his career. The 2011 graduate of Spokane's Gonzaga Prep High School has started 73 games in his career, and is averaging 8.1 points on 41.2 percent shooting from the 3-point stripe and an impressive free throw percentage of .841. Also EWU's top defender, he averaged 10.0 points and 34.5 minutes per game in the 2013-14 season and is averaging 8.4 points and 32.9 minutes this year while battling nagging foot and groin injuries.
* Senior point guard Drew Brandon has had four double-doubles during league play – including two near triple-doubles to come the closest to achieving that feat in school history. As a result, he earned back-to-back Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors in the Big Sky, and has a total of six double-doubles on the season and 11 in his career. Brandon is averaging 9.6 points, 5.0 assists, 1.8 steals and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per outing while battling a broken finger and a season-long bout with back spasms, and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 135-to-54. Brandon is averaging 5.0 assists, 10.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his 57-game career (56 as a starter) with eight double-figure assist performances, 10 in rebounding and 32 in scoring (two with at least 20 when he scored 27 each in huge road victories this season at Indiana and Montana). Brandon has the second-best assist average in school history, a mark of 5.0 that trails the 8.4 average of Ed Waters (1974-77). A transfer from Sierra College in California, Brandon is from Corona, Calif., and is a 2010 graduate of Santiago High School.
* Senior Garrett Moon has seen his minutes increase in recent games, and is averaging 8.6 minutes, 1.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocked shots during league play. He equaled his career high with eight points at Portland State on Jan. 15, had a career-high five blocks on Feb. 12 versus Sacramento State and then had a career high 10 rebounds two days later versus PSU. In his career, he has 20 blocked shots in 50 career games (one start), to go along with averages of 6.8 minutes, 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He transferred to EWU from City College of San Francisco, and is a 2010 graduate of Wallenberg High School in San Francisco.
* Achieving a first in Eastern men's basketball history, Tyler Harvey was selected on Feb. 26 as a first team selection on the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America® team for NCAA Division I as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Harvey was one of five players to be named to the first team, and is EWU's initial first team selection in school history. The guard from Torrance, Calif. (Bishop Montgomery HS '11) has a 3.60 grade point average as a communications studies major. Eastern has had just three other Academic All-America selections since moving from the NAIA to the NCAA in the early 1980's. Rodney Stuckey, now playing for the Indiana Pacers in the NBA, was a third team selection in 2007 as EWU's first-ever selection as a member of Division I. Dave Henley, a graduate of Shadle Park High School in Spokane, earned second team accolades in 1982 and was a third team pick in 1981 when EWU was in NCAA Division II. On Feb. 25, Harvey was the recipient of a "Keeper of the Dream" award from EWU's Africana Studies department.
* Junior Venky Jois, who has been hampered the past month with a sprained ankle, finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds against Montana State on Feb. 26 for his fourth double-double of the season and 22nd in his career. It was his double-double since Dec. 11 against San Francisco. Two games earlier, he finished with 22 points at Southern Utah on Feb. 19 for his highest scoring output in exactly two months since scoring 23 versus Cal on Dec. 19. He made 8-of-12 shots from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. EWU's first two league losses this season came when Jois has been held out because of a sprained ankle. He missed the PSU game on Feb. 14 after aggravating his injury in EWU's victory over Sacramento State two days earlier. He had missed the previous game in January versus Sac State as well as two other full games and parts of two others.
• In NCAA statistics through Feb. 26, Tyler Harvey is second in NCAA Division I in scoring offense (22.7 points per game), first in 3-pointers per game (4.04), 14th in 3-point shooting percentage (43.7 percent) and 29th in free throw percentage (.861). Venky Jois, who has missed four full games and parts of two others with a sprained ankle, is 82nd in per game scoring (17.0), 11th in field goal percentage (59.9 percent) and 33rd in blocked shots per game (2.42). Drew Brandon is 45th in assists (5.0), 32nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.50 per game) and 116th in free throw percentage (.811).
* Three Eagles – all underclassmen -- are averaging at least 10.9 points per game this season, paced by the 22.7 average of junior guard Tyler Harvey and the 17.0 average of junior forward Venky Jois. Jois is also averaging 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game, and sophomore forward Ognjen Miljkovic is averaging 10.9 points and 3.3 rebounds, with 50 3-pointers made on the season. Harvey is averaging 18.1 points, 2.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in his 77-game career thus far (60 as a starter), making 223-of-536 3-point attempts for 43.5 percent. Jois has 22 double-doubles in his 83-game career (81 as a starter), and is averaging 14.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game in his career. Miljkovic is averaging 21.7 minutes, 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in his 52-game Eastern career (33 as a starter).
* True freshman Bogdan Bliznyuk has provided a boost off the bench during league play, and in the process has established himself as the frontrunner for the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year honor won two seasons ago by Eagle Venky Jois. Bliznyuk is averaging 25.1 minutes, 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in league play. He's made a team-best 59.6 percent of his shots (68-of-114) in those 15 games and has converted 35-of-45 free throws (77.8 percent). Ten of his 12 double-figure scoring performances this season have come during the Big Sky season. Four times during league play he eclipsed his career high for scoring, and three times for rebounding. He had 19 points and 10 rebounds at Sacramento State when he had the first double-double of his Eastern career. At one point he had seven-straight double-figure scoring performance. For the season, Bliznyuk is averaging 8.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18.4 minutes.
* National award candidate Tyler Harvey, the second-leading scorer in NCAA Division I, has struggled shooting the ball since missing three games with a quadriceps contusion. In his last four games, he has made only 10-of-40 3-point shots (25.0 percent), and 20-of-66 overall (30.3 percent). He was just 5-of-15 from the field (2-of-12 from the 3-point stripe) in his first game back on Feb. 14 in a 68-66 loss to Portland State, then was 3-of-16 overall (1-of-4) in a 78-75 win at Southern Utah. He scored a team-high 22 in a loss at Northern Arizona, but was just 6-of-19 from the field (3-of-13 from the arc). He had 20 versus Montana State on Feb. 26 on 6-of-16 shooting overall (4-of-11 3-pointers). He is second in NCAA Division I in scoring (22.7), first in 3-pointers per game (4.04) and 14th in 3-point accuracy (43.7 percent). Harvey is one of 16 Finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year and is on the watch list for the Lou Henson Award given to the nation's top mid-major player. He suffered a quadriceps contusion in the first half against Idaho on Jan. 31 and sat out the three games after that. Prior to the injury, in EWU's first two games of its 3-0 home stand in January, Harvey scored 61 points to earn co-Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors from the league office, as well as the same honor by himself from Collegeinsider.com. His performances included a 35-point outing against Northern Colorado on Jan. 22, which was his fourth of at least 30 this season and 10th of his career (three versus UNC). In late January, Harvey was also picked as the "deadliest 3-point assassin" in the nation by bleacherreport.com, and he and the Eagles have also been featured this winter by the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Sports, Slam! Magazine and SB Nation.
* Junior Tyler Harvey has now averaged 21.5 points per game in his last 64 games as an Eagle after averaging 1.3 points in his first 13 outings. In fact, his one-year improvement of 14.1 points per game from his freshman to sophomore seasons ranked third in the nation. In EWU's last eight games of the 2012-13 season, he scored 132 points (16.5 average) on 55 percent shooting from the field (52-of-94, including 20-of-44 3-point attempts). In the first 13 games he played as a freshman, Harvey scored just 17 points (by contrast, in the first 13 games in the 2013-14 season he scored 261 with an average of 20.1 per game). In his freshman season, he played in 21 of EWU's 31 games and averaged 14.0 minutes and 7.1 points per game. As a sophomore, he averaged 21.9 points and 37.4 minutes in starting all 31 EWU games.
* In a three-game stretch from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, Venky Jois made 23-of-27 free throws for 85.1 percent, but in the other games he's played, he's made 57-of-114 (50.0 percent), including just 12 of his first 33 (36 percent). He made 71.2 percent from the line as a freshman (89-of-125), 52.8 percent as a sophomore (94-of-178) and thus far is at 56.7 percent (80-of-141) as a junior. He sank all eight of his shots from the charity line against Eastern Oregon on Nov. 30 and then made 12-of-15 at Seattle on Dec. 6 and 3-of-4 against San Francisco on Dec. 11.
* Bit by injuries this season and still managing to win 19 of 25 games, the latest loss for the Eagles is freshman guard Sir Washington, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. He was averaging 10.1 minutes and 2.5 points off the bench for the Eagles.
Eagle Records Watch
* Tyler Harvey is climbing EWU and the Big Sky single season 3-pointers lists, with 101 this season to rank third in school history and fifth all-time in the Big Sky. Harvey holds the school record with 109 a year ago (second in league history), and Shannon Taylor made 103 in the 1998-99 season. The first player in league history to have two single season performances of 100 treys, he is two from moving into fourth in the league and four from third. Earlier this season, Harvey broke the school record for career 3-pointers made, with a current total of 233 to eclipse the previous record of 184 set by Marc Axton (2002-05). His 536 attempts is also a record, breaking the previous mark of 499 by Axton. Harvey is the 17th player in Big Sky Conference history to make at least 200 and is currently 12th in league history (two away from ranking 11th). He is currently the school record holder for career free throw percentage (85.0 percent), and is third for career scoring average (18.1) and fifth in 3-point shooting accuracy (43.5 percent). Harvey has had 38 performances in his career with at least 20 points and 10 with at least 30, and has scored in double figures in 36-straight games (total of 62). His career total of 1,393 points is seventh in school history.
* Parker Kelly is now just 31 points from becoming the 19th player in EWU history – and third this season – to go over the 1,000-point mark in his career. With 969 career points, he is eighth in school history in 3-point percentage (41.4 percent), second in 3-pointers made (202) and third in attempts (490). Kelly could set the school record for games played when his four-year career ends later this season (he has 119 to rank second in school history and the record is 121). Kelly's 84.1 percent shooting from the free throw line in his career would rank third in school history (teammate Tyler Harvey currently holds the record at 85.0 percent) if he had enough attempts to qualify (he has 201 and needs 238).
* Junior Venky Jois became the 18th player in EWU history to go over the 1,000-point mark in his career (versus Lewis-Clark State on Dec. 22), and has a current total of 1,169 to rank 12th. He continues to add to his career record for blocked shots, and now has 173 in his career to rank sixth all-time in the Big Sky Conference. He owns three of the top five single season performances in school history, with 58 blocks this season (third), 49 last season (fifth) and 66 as a freshman (second). His 14.10 scoring average is currently 12th and his 8.0 rebounding average is eighth. Jois has had 14 performances in his career with at least 20 points and two with at least 30, and has 22 career double-doubles (four this season).
Recent Game Recap
* Registering its largest margin of victory since Nov. 19, the Eastern Washington University men's basketball moved back into first place in the Big Sky Conference with a 92-68 victory over Montana State Feb. 26 at Reese Court. Eastern made 60 percent of its shots in the second half en route to scoring 55 points after intermission. The 24-point win equaled EWU's second-largest margin of victory over a NCAA Division I opponent this season, and was second only to the 25 EWU beat Utah Valley by on Nov. 17 (75-50). Eastern beat Walla Walla two nights after that by 61 points (95-34). Venky Jois, who had been hampered with a sprained ankle, finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and 22nd in his career. It was his first since Dec. 11 against San Francisco. Tyler Harvey, the nation's scoring leader, added 20 points and five rebounds, and Ognjen Mijkovic scored 15 on perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field. Senior point guard Drew Brandon had 12 rebounds – two away from his career high – and also had six points, six assists and a pair of steals. The Eagles led by seven early in the second half, but scored 24 of the next 30 points to open a 25-point lead with 13:29 left to play. Included was a 13-0 run as the Eagles held MSU without a point for nearly four minutes. The Eagles led by as many as 30.
Quoting Coach Hayford
On Montana State Win Heading Into UM Game: "Our team and I are in a great mood right now. Everybody understands that we worked hard to get to this point, and I think they are really hungry for more. The team said at halftime, 'this doesn't have to be a close game --- let's go put the pedal to the metal.' I thought the team came out of the locker room at halftime as fired up as I have ever seen them."
On Montana State Win: "This was a fantastic win. Montana State had been playing really good and we really played solid. It looked a lot like the team I saw in early December and early January when we were clicking. Venky had a double-double, Tyler gets 20 points, Drew gets 12 rebounds, O.G. has 15 points and we get bench production -- when we do that we are really hard to beat. So that is my big hope -- that we can capture kind of where we were before all the injuries and the different lineups. And then we take the strength of our team with players who played more during the injuries, and we can be a really strong team down the stretch here. We looked the part tonight so I was really pleased with my team."
On Last Two Weeks of Practice: "Starting last week we said, 'hey, whatever is bugging us we are all going to practice.' And when we went on the road -- no one swept that road trip -- we played really good against Northern Arizona. We just didn't have some shots go down at the end but we were still together. We were playing together and practicing together and then we had three more days of practice all together. We got to play together tonight and were able to keep heavy minutes off the guys -- no one played more than 30 minutes. It's been a long time since we were able to do that, so this is just what the doctor ordered."
On Montana Game: On Senior Day Saturday: "Senior Day is great. We've worked hard to help these players go be successful in life, and they are kind of putting a comma in their life to go from one thing to the next. The best way to enjoy Senior Day is to beat Montana – that's what I will be telling the guys."
On Fourth-Year Senior Parker Kelly: "Parker has meant a lot. From day one since he arrived here, he's done every single thing the coaches have asked him to do – and more. He's been the epitome of hard work, dedication and being a man of action. He's been a joy to coach."