Eagles End Road Trip Tuesday at 4-2 San Francisco

Eagles End Road Trip Tuesday at 4-2 San Francisco

Eastern is 3-3 and has won its last two meetings versus the WCC, including game a year ago at USF

Complete Release in .PDF Format

Upcoming Games

Tuesday, Dec. 1 - War Memorial Gymnasium  (4,200) - San Francisco, California
7 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington (3-3) vs. San Francisco (4-2) 

Sunday, Dec. 6 - Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney, Washington
2:05 p.m. - Eastern Washington vs. Great Falls 


Coverage

TV: None.
Webcast:
USF game available via www.usfdons.com; All Eastern home games and non-conference Big Sky Conference road games are carried at http://www.watchbigsky.com
Radio: All Eastern games are on 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 23rd season calling the play-by-play, starting 30 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: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=109552 for USF game; ewustats.com for EWU home games.


Before they can return home, another challenge against the West Coast Conference looms for the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team.

The 3-3 Eagles end a three-game road trip to California with their third game in four days when they play at 4-2 San Francisco on Tuesday (Dec. 1). Tipoff at War Memorial Gymnasium is 7 p.m. Pacific time before the Eagles return home to face Great Falls on Dec. 6 in one of only two games in December at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Fans can listen to the games on 700-AM ESPN and via the web at www.700espn.com. Pre-game coverage starts a half-hour prior to tipoff, with Larry Weir providing the play-by-play. The USF game may also be viewed via www.usfdons.com and all EWU home games are broadcast on www.watchbigky.com.

The Eagles enter Tuesday's game 3-3 after a split this past weekend at the Sacramento State Invitational, defeating the University of the Pacific from the West Coast Conference 70-63 on Nov. 28, then falling to South Dakota 77-71 the next afternoon in the "pseudo" title game.

"We are coming together each day," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. "We have gaps that can only be filled with experience."

San Francisco is 4-2 following a 67-47 win over Delaware State on Nov. 29. A year ago, the Eagles beat the Dons on Dec. 11, 2014, by an 81-76 score, thus, have won their last two games against WCC foes.

"San Francisco is a quality opponent -- they play very hard and are well-coached," said Hayford. "We will need to match their intensity and find a mindset to play this game fresh and apart from the two we just played."

Eastern's schedule thus far has been punctuated by clusters of games sandwiched around a pair of back-to-back games against the same foe. Eastern played its first three games in a six-day stretch to open the year, losing its opener on Nov. 13 to Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., and then setting school records for steals (23) and points (126) in a 62-point victory over George Fox (126-64) on Nov. 15. Eastern followed that with a 76-70 home win over Seattle on Nov. 18, then lost a rematch in Seattle 58-52 on Nov. 23.

 
 

Link to Fact Book

The complete version of the 2015-16 EWU men's basketball fact book may be found at:
http://goeags.com/trads/ewas-factbooks.html

 

More Eagle Basketball Links

Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
2015-16 Season Outlook -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/2015-16/releases/16mbSEASONOUTLOOK.docx

Link to Ticket Information -- http://www.goeags.com/tickets
Spokesman-Review EWU Basketball Page -- http://www.spokesman.com/ewuhoops
Story on Eagle Head Coach Jim Hayford -- http://www.inlander.com/spokane/the-man-in-the-red-blazer/Content?oid=2603878

Big Sky Conference Basketball -- http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=basketball&path=mbball
NCAA Basketball -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-baskbl/ncaa-m-baskbl-body.html
ESPN College Scoreboard -- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/scoreboard
Tyler Harvey NBA D-League Page -- http://dleague.nba.com/player/tyler-harvey/

Rodney Stuckey NBA Page -- http://www.nba.com/playerfile/rodney_stuckey/index.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://WWW.GOEAGS.COM

 

Opponent/Series Notes 

* Eastern is 1-1 all-time against San Francisco, losing 66-48 on Dec. 1, 1995, and then winning 81-76 on Dec. 11, 2014, in a pair of games played at USF. Next year, the Dons are scheduled to come to Cheney for a pair of games against EWU and Sacramento State, similar to the invitational tournament Eastern participated in on Nov. 28-29 in Sacramento.

* In last year's meeting against USF, second half rebounding made the Eagles sweat, but cold-blooded shooting down the stretch closed out EWU's eighth victory in nine tries in the 2015-16 season on Dec. 11 in San Francisco, Calif. Senior Parker Kelly and junior Venky Jois had the clutch plays to give EWU the lead for good, and the Eagles made eight free throws in the final 1:15 to prevail 81-76 over San Francisco of the West Coast Conference at War Memorial Gymnasium. Four Eagles scored in double figures, including 19 by junior Tyler Harvey, who scored nine early points to hit the 1,000-point mark in his career. Ognjen Miljkovic had a team-high 20, Kelly added 15 and junior Venky Jois finished with a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jois had a 3-point play with 2:56 to play to break a 67-all tie. Then Kelly, who was playing in his 100th game as an Eagle, drained a 3-pointer to give EWU a 73-67 advantage with 2:21 to play. The Eagles closed out the win by making 8-of-10 free throws in the final 1:15. Eastern won its fifth-straight game despite getting out-rebounded 43-28 and out-shot 48 percent to 42 percent. Eastern made 12 3-pointers and sank 19-of-26 free throws for 73 percent, compared to just 53 percent from the line by the Dons (16-of-30). Eastern made 12-of-25 3-point attempts, helping overcome a 13-of-34 performance from inside the arc. Eastern's free throw shooting was also clutch, with EWU making 15-of-19 in the second half for 79 percent (73 percent in the game). Both teams were cold early from the field, but Eastern used 8-of-11 3-point shooting in the first half to take a 40-30 lead at intermission.

* San Francisco opened the 2015-16 season with a 78-75 road win at Illinois-Chicago and an 80-54 home triumph over Rice. The Dons then sandwiched seven-point losses to Fresno State (78-71) and UC Santa Barbara (68-71) around a narrow win over UC Riverside (58-57). In their last outing, the Dons beat Delaware State 67-47 at home.

* A year ago, when Eastern finished 26-9 overall and 14-4 in the Big Sky, the Dons were 14-18 on the season and 7-11 in the WCC.

 
 

Game Notes 

* Eastern scoring average for the season is at 80.5 points to rank 79th in NCAA Division I through games of Nov. 29. Eastern had scored 290 points in its first three games for an average of 96.7 points per game to rank fifth nationally. Last year's team set a school record with 2,820 points scored and averaged 80.6 per game to rank third in NCAA Division I.

* Eastern's average of 9.3 3-pointers per game is 47th in NCAA Division I, but the team's percentage is just 175th (33.9 percent). A year ago, Eastern was fifth with an average of 9.8 made treys per game, and its 40.0 percent accuracy was eighth-best in the nation.

* Eastern's games versus Pacific and South Dakota were part of the post-Thanksgiving Sacramento State Basketball Invitational. The Eagles opened with a 70-63 win over the Tigers from the West Coast Conference, while the Coyotes were a 96-90 winner over host Sac State. There was no tournament champion, but if there was, then Sunday's 77-71 win for USD over EWU was a pseudo championship game between teams that won on Saturday. There was also no all-tournament team.  Next year, the tournament is expected to be played in Cheney, with the Eagles and Hornets hosting two non-conference opponents from the same leagues (Denver from the Summit and San Francisco from the WCC are the tentative opponents).

* Fresh off its best season in the school's NCAA Division I history, Eastern will play teams from 11 different conferences in the 2015-16 season. The Eagles will play nine games versus six teams who appeared in national postseason tournaments a year ago. Seattle, which advanced to the semifinals of the College Basketball Insider (CBS) Tournament, accounted for two of those games. The next opponent Eastern will play that was in the postseason last year comes on Dec. 9 when EWU plays at NCAA Tournament participant Davidson. Two days later on Dec. 11, the Eagles play at NIT qualifier Pittsburgh. Davidson was 24-8 overall and 14-4 in the Atlantic-10 Conference a year ago, and lost 83-52 to Iowa in Seattle in the NCAA Tournament. Pitt was 19-15 overall and 8-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and lost to George Washington 60-54 in the NIT.

* In what could again be a tightly-contested race in the Big Sky Conference, the defending champion Eastern men's basketball team has been picked to finish third by both the coaches and media in preseason polls released Oct. 1 by the league. Eastern had 99 points in the coaches poll to trail preseason favorites Weber State (114) and Montana (113). Both the Wildcats and Grizzlies received six first-place votes. With 183 points in the media poll, EWU trailed preseason favorite Montana (220) and WSU (194). Montana captured 14 of the 19 first-place votes, with the Eagles receiving one and the Wildcats two.

* The Eagles closed a monumental 2014-15 campaign with a 26-9 record overall after finishing 14-4 in the Big Sky Conference to share the regular season title with Montana. Eastern swept through three games in the Big Sky Conference Tournament to garner the school's second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The Eagles finished with program bests for victories overall (26), in the Big Sky (14), on the road (11) and in non-conference play (9) in 32 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I. Eastern's national resume featured the 25th-most wins in NCAA Division I and 28th in winning percentage at .743, the fourth-most victories in the 50+ year history of the Big Sky Conference, a marquee win at Indiana and the nation's leading scorer in Tyler Harvey.

* Entering the 2015-16 season, head coach Jim Hayford was selected by College Sports Madness as its preseason Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. Additionally, Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports rated him as one of the top 21 offensive coaches in all of NCAA Division I.

* Head coach Jim Hayford – the 2014-15 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year -- took over an Eastern team four years ago that had been to the Big Sky Conference Tournament just once in five seasons, but in the 2014-15 season he took the Eagles to new heights. The Eagles entered the 2015-16 season with 66 victories overall, 39 league wins and four Big Sky Tournament game triumphs under Hayford, and the 26 victories last season are the fourth-most in the more than 50-year history of the league. In fact, a local newspaper dubbed Hayford the "Wizard in Cheney" in a feature article in November 2015. On July 8, 2015, Hayford signed a new five-year agreement which extends his contract at EWU through the 2019-20 season. The new five-year agreement replaced the contract he signed a year prior.

* Eastern's triumphs in 2014-15 included victories over six different NCAA Division I conferences, including road wins at Indiana, San Francisco and Seattle. Eastern was ranked as high as 12th in the national mid-major poll, and as high as 50th in the RPI. The Eagles concluded their home schedule with a crowd of 4,621 against Montana to rank as the fourth-most in school history and the most in 15 years.

* For the second year in a row, EWU was honored with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Team Academic Excellence Award. Eastern's 3.27 team grade point average was the best in the Big Sky Conference in the 2014-15 season, and .20 better than the team's 3.07 average of a year ago.

* The Eagles continue to be a part of the C.H.A.M.P.S (College Headed and Making Progress) program at Whitman Elementary School in Spokane. Eastern student-athletes spend part of their time at Whitman with the entire student body, but a majority of their time is spent one-on-one with a fifth-grade student. The unique program follows each Whitman student for eight years through middle school and high school. Once an EWU student-athlete graduates, an incoming player will begin mentoring their student.

* Active within the last year in the pro ranks are 14 former Eagles, including Tyler Harvey and Drew Brandon from last year's Eagle team. Harvey is now with the Erie Bay Hawks of the NBA's Developmental League after getting drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Orlando Magic in the 2015 NBA Draft. Harvey averaged 10.6 points, 2.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds for the Magic's "Blue" summer squad. Brandon is in his first year with the Bayer Giants in the Germany ProA League. Eastern's professional players are headlined by NBA veteran Rodney Stuckey, who is in his second season with Indiana after seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons. In 2014-15 – his eighth season as a pro and first with the Indiana Pacers – Stuckey averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.8 steals per game in 71 games (36 starts). He made a career-best 39.0 percent of his 3-point attempts, sinking 55-of-141. Stuckey signed a new 3-year, $21 million contract with the Pacers on July 21, 2015.

 
 

Player Notes 

* Six Eagles have already made their college basketball debuts this season, and five of them have played in at least five Eastern games. True freshman Jesse Hunt, a 6-foot-7 forward, made the first starts of his career against Pacific (11/28/15) and South Dakota (11/29/15), and is averaging 11.7 minutes, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 points per game. Redshirt freshman Will Ferris, who came off the bench to play 23 minutes against Seattle on Nov. 23 and score a career-high nine points, is averaging 2.7 points and 7.8 minutes on the season. Ty Gibson has seen significant action as a true freshman, averaging 7.2 minutes per game. Redshirt freshman Bear Henderson has averaged 5.5 minutes and 1.7 points thus far, and started his first career game against George Fox on Nov. 15. Freshman redshirt Cody Benzel has averaged 5.4 points in an average of 5.0 minutes off the bench, including a 12-point performance against South Dakota on Nov. 29 when he made four 3-pointers in just eight minutes of action. All five of those players made their collegiate debuts in EWU's opener at Mississippi State on Nov. 13, and true freshman Michael Wearne made his versus George Fox. Wearne, however, is expected to now redshirt because of a hip injury. Making his NCAA Division I debut against MSU and playing five games thus far is junior college transfer. Rico Nuno. Senior graduate transfer Austin McBroom made his Eagle debut against the Bulldogs, and junior transfer Julian Harrell is out indefinitely with a hand injury. Three Eagles – transfer Geremy McKay, transfer Mario Soto and freshman Grant Gibb – will redshirt.

* The Eagles lost a pair of All-Big Sky guards from last year's NCAA Tournament team, but senior graduate transfer Austin McBroom has provided an instant solution for the Eagles. The former starter at Saint Louis has a team-leading 210 minutes thus far (35.0 per game to rank 51st in NCAA Division I through games of Nov. 29). He is also 10th nationally in free throw percentage, making 19-of-20 for 95.0 percent. He has averages of 15.3 points and 3.5 assists, and just nine total turnovers. He has made 15-of-46 3-pointers for 32.6 percent while making 40.3 percent from the field overall. His top scoring game as an Eagle came against Pacific on Nov. 28 with 20 points (six shy of his collegiate high of 26). He had a 16-point effort against Seattle on Nov. 18 in which he only had three assists, but had only one turnover to help EWU to a season-low of seven. He had a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists versus George Fox on Nov. 15. McBroom came to EWU with 97 games and 45 starts worth of NCAA Division I experience -- he played in 66 games at Saint Louis (15 as a starter) and 31 (30 as a starter) at Central Michigan in 2011-12.

* Preseason Big Sky Conference MVP Venky Jois is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage, having made 71.2 percent of his shots thus far. However, he was able to get off just three shots on Nov. 29 against a South Dakota defense that double and triple teamed him when he got the ball in the post. As a result, Jois equaled his career high with seven assists and ended up going to the free throw line five times to surpass the school's career record for charity shots. Now with 503 in his career, he broke the previous school record of 499 set by Dave Hayden from 1970-73. His 288 free throws made are fourth in school history, with Rodney Stuckey (2006-07) owning the record of 386. 

* Senior Venky Jois continues to climb the Big Sky Conference career leaders list for blocked shots. His school-record total of 199 currently is fourth, just eight from third, 13 from second and 48 from the league record. His 1,362 total points ranks eighth in school history and his 781 rebounds are fourth, and he also ranks on leaders lists for scoring average (14.20, 12th), rebounding average (8.1, eighth), field goals attempted (960, ninth), field goals made (535, fifth), free throws made (288, fourth) and owns the school record for free throws attempted (503). Jois was on the All-Big Sky Conference first team as a junior in the 2014-15 season, and then was named to the Big Sky Conference All-Tournament team. He was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year in the 2013-14 season, and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky accolades as a freshman and sophomore. Jois averaged 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game as a junior, and so far as a senior has averages of 14.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Jois is still looking for his first double-double of the season after having 26 in 90 total games the past three seasons. Jois is from Boronia, Australia, and has a 3.51 grade point average as an interdisciplinary studies major (biology/pre-med emphasis). He is a three-time member of the Big Sky All-Academic team and was a member of the NABC Honors Court as a junior.

* Sophomore forward Bogdan Bliznyuk has been used frequently at bringing the ball up the court, and is averaging 14.5 points per game with a deft ability to get to the rim. He has made 8-of-23 3-pointers thus far for 35 percent, and is 24-of-45 inside the stripe (53 percent) with an overall percentage of 47 percent. He has also made 15-of-20 free throws (75.0 percent), has a team-high 12 steals and is averaging 5.5 rebounds. He was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year after coming off the bench to average 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds for the Eagles. It's an honor now won six times in the past 14 seasons by Eastern players, including current Eagle Venky Jois in the 2012-13 season. Bliznyuk, who also earned Big Sky All-Academic honors, averaged 12.0 points in league play to rank 24th in the Big Sky -- tops among all freshmen. He was also fifth in field goal shooting (58.0 percent) and 12th in rebounding (5.6) while also averaging 24.3 minutes and 1.4 assists. He made 58.0 percent of his shots (80-of-138) in those 18 league games and converted 39-of-51 free throws (76.6 percent). Bliznyuk is formerly from Lutsk, Ukraine, but graduated from Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Wash., in 2014. He was less than 2 years old when his father, a truck driver, died in an accident. Their mother moved them to Federal Way five years later to be closer to family. Born with a gap in his upper jaw, he has had multiple surgeries after moving to the United States, included transferring bone from his hip.

* Junior Felix Von Hofe had a breakthrough game in the Big Sky Conference Tournament last March, and he topped that with a career-high 25 points against Seattle on Nov. 18 when he made 7-of-12 shots from the 3-point stripe. That bested his previous high of 23 points when he made 8-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the 3-point stripe in a 91-83 victory over Sacramento State in the semifinals of the league tournament on March 14, 2015. Much like the 15-point lead he helped open against Seattle, his sizzling shooting helped EWU open a 26-point lead against the Hornets. With an average of 13.8 points on 16-of-41 3-point shooting, he currently ranks 36th in NCAA Division I in 3-pointers per game (3.20) through games of 11/29.

* Guard sophomore Sir Washington had a career-high 11 points in the team's opener at Mississippi State, and has started four games thus far. He is averaging 7.3 points on 40 percent shooting from the field, and is also averaging 3.0 rebounds with eight assists and eight steals.

* Two major cogs in Eastern's roll to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament last season – Venky Jois and Bogdan Bliznyuk -- have been selected to the preseason All-Big Sky Conference team as selected by a panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and sports information directors in the league. Jois, a senior 6-foot-8 forward, is EWU's lone returning starter this season and was selected as the league's preseason MVP. A year ago, Eastern's Tyler Harvey won the award and went on to lead NCAA Division I in scoring and was eventually drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by Orlando. Besides Jois, Bliznyuk was also selected to the seven-player team and was the only underclassmen chosen. The others honored included Montana's Martin Breunig, Montana State's Marcus Colbert, Northern Arizona's Kris Yanku and Weber State's Joel Bolomboy and Jeremy Senglin.

 
 

Quoting Coach Hayford

On Venky Jois Versus South Dakota: "Credit Venky – he had seven assists and just one turnover," said Hayford. "South Dakota's game plan on him was to not let him shoot the ball. And Venky did a fantastic job finding open players. They took away our primary scorer, but we shot the ball well from the outside in the first half and the start of the second half. But they were just a little better than us."

On South Dakota Loss: "That was a really good team – that's why they came in here and beat Sacramento State by six and us by six. We'll just have to learn from it."

On Pacific Win: "I credit our team's toughness. It was great to start the road trip with a win and that will build toughness. As a coach that's what you want to see – you want to see your team get better every night out and we did that. We'll take it. This is a good day when you play a West Coast Conference team and can get a win. It's good for our conference and good for our program."

On Finding Ways to Win: "I want our team to continue to improve and get better. We are a better shooting team than we've showed, but until we do that, we aren't going to have a chance to win unless we play good defense. What good teams and good players do is find out what is necessary to win. It was ugly last Monday in Seattle and it wasn't beautiful offense tonight, but both nights we grew up and played some good, solid defense."

On Jois & Bliznyuk Earning Preseason Honors: "Preseason honors set up expectations. We are comfortable with that, as our team has great expectations for the upcoming season. On preseason lists that I've seen, Venky is listed as one of the top 20 forwards in college basketball. It's pretty special to lose the nation's leading scorer, but you still welcome back one of the top forwards in college basketball."

On Venky Jois: "Venky is a threat to have a double-double every night out. He plays with great passion and energy, and is a captain of our team. Venky has been a foundation in the building of our program -- he is an outstanding student, a great leader, and committed to developing into the best basketball player he can be. I join all Eagle fans in anticipating a great senior year for Venky. " 

On Bogdan Bliznyuk: "Bogdan had a great freshman year and has a great career ahead of him. He's a very coachable player and he plays hard. He has a great drive game and rebounds with tenacity. He is efficient as a player and has great shot selection. I think he has a great career ahead of him because of his determination to be the best that he can be."

On Being Picked Third in Big Sky Preseason Poll: "Being picked in the top third of the conference is a good place to be. That shows we are earning the respect of our peers. This year there are many great players returning in the Big Sky Conference and the league has so many great coaches. We have our work cut out for us."

 
 

Recent Game Recaps

* For 29 minutes, it was vintage Eagle Basketball. But for the last 11, the Coyotes had the corner on hot shooting. Eastern used 11 3-pointers to open a nine-point second half lead, but South Dakota made 11 of its last 14 shots and defeated EWU 77-71 in a non-conference Nov. 29 at "The Nest" in Sacramento State. Eastern led 47-38 with 17:03 remaining and 53-46 at the 11:06 mark, but South Dakota out-scored the Eagles 31-18 the rest of the way. Eastern sank 11-of-19 3-pointers in the first 21 1/2 minutes of the game, but sank just one of their last 12 attempts. Senior graduate transfer Austin McBroom finished with 11 points and a trio of 3-pointers, but played 20 of his 27 minutes in the second half after picking up two early fouls. He entered the game ranked 21st in NCAA Division I in minutes played (36.6 per game). Senior Venky Jois equaled his career high with seven assists against a Coyote defense that double and triple teamed him when he got the ball in the post. He scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from the free throw line, and also had six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Sophomore Bogdan Bliznyuk led the Eagles with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field with a pair of 3-pointers. Redshirt freshman Cody Benzel came off the bench to score 12 points in eight minutes on 4-of-7 shooting from the 3-pont stripe. After the Eagles took a 53-48 advantage, the Coyotes used runs of 7-0 and 8-0 to take a 63-58 advantage with 5:54 to play. A 3-pointer by Benzel – his fourth of the game for the Eagles – knotted the game at 67-all, but the Coyotes took the lead for good at the 2:55 mark. A pair of baskets in the last two minutes, plus three free throws in the final 28 ticks, clinched the win for USD. Eastern missed its last four shots of the game.

 * Eastern held Pacific without a field goal for 5:27 late in the game to beat the Tigers 70-63 in a tightly-contested non-conference game Nov. 28 at "The Nest" in Sacramento State. Four Eagles scored in double figures, as Eastern used its late 10-3 run to turn a 49-all tie into a seven-point advantage with 1:59 to play. Nine free throws in the final 1:48 and a dunk by Venky Jois with 44 seconds left clinched the third win in five games this season for EWU. There were six ties and eight lead changes in the second half before Eastern pulled away. The Eagles made 11-of-28 field goals in the second half for 48 percent, but more importantly, sank 20-of-25 free throws for 80 percent. Eastern held Pacific to 38 percent shooting from the field (21-of-56), including percentages of under 40 percent in each half. The Tigers made only 5-of-17 3-pointers for 29 percent. Senior graduate transfer Austin McBroom led the Eagles with a season-high 20 points, making all 10 of his free throws and 4-of-10 shots from the field with pair of 3-pointers. Senior Venky Jois had 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Sophomore Bogdan Bliznyuk also nearly had a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Felix Von Hofe chipped in 12 points and four boards. Tied at 49, the Eagles used a 7-2 run to open its biggest lead of the night at 57-51 with 2:44 to play on a steal and dunk by Jois. Eastern held Pacific without a field goal for 5:29, taking its biggest lead of the night in that span at 59-52 on a basket by Von Hofe.

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