Eastern men turn in solid week with three wins; home Friday versus Seattle U
Eastern Washington’s men’s basketball team completed a busy week with a 3-1 record following a Sunday loss, 81-58, to host UC Irvine in the final game of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Eagles, 4-2, dismantled NAIA Walla Walla last Tuesday in Cheney to begin what would be a three-game winning streak that included an 80-68 win over Boston University and a 102-70 conquest of Long Island University – Brooklyn to open the K2 tournament played at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.
In meeting the host Anteaters, Eastern fell behind by 21 points at halftime and were never able to recover.
“We packed two games of energy in our suitcases for a three-game weekend,” Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said.
Sophomore Tyler Harvey, who scored 35 points in the first two games in Irvine, had 21 points to lead the Eagles against UC Irvine. Harvey was playing close to his home of Torrance, Calif. and was the only Eagle in double-figures.
Led by 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye – the tallest player in NCAA Division I – UC Irvine blocked 12 of EWU shots. Ndiaye had eight of the blocks.
Saturday night against LIU Brooklyn, Parker Kelly and Venky Jois each tossed in 17 points as the Eagles raced to a 28-1 lead over the Blackbirds. The Eagles led 54-29 at halftime and by as many as 37 in the second half as Harvey added 14 points, while junior point guard Drew Brandon and sophomore forward Thomas Reuter each had 13. Martin Seiferth scored 12 points.
Eastern opened the tournament getting double-figure output from Harvey who had a team-high 21 points and Jois right behind with 20 points. Brandon had his second double-double in four games with 15 points and 12 rebounds plus seven assists. Ognjen Miljkovic came off the bench to contribute 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
The Eagles trailed early 26-19, but used a 12-2 run to open a four-point advantage late in the first half and took a 39-34 lead into the break. They built on that in the second half against the Patriot League preseason favorite Terriers.
“This Boston U team came out hot and they were throwing them in from everywhere,” Hayford said. “Instead of hanging our heads, they would throw a punch and we would come right back at them.”
Tuesday against Walla Walla, Seiferth finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds while Harvey had 15 and Jois 14. Brandon came close to a rare double-double dishing out 10 assists and hauling down nine rebounds.
Eastern faces Seattle University Friday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. and then ventures back to California to meet West Coast Conference power, St. Mary’s, Sunday, Dec. 8 and return home for a rematch with Cal Irvine Dec. 15.