Tyler Harvey was disappointed about the four turnovers he committed in last Friday's basketball game with Seattle University.
The sophomore found a way to make up for it, however, scoring a career-high 30 points to lead Eastern Washington to an 82-75 nonconference victory over the Redhawks at Reese Court.
While Harvey threw down 6-of-9 3-pointers and 9-of-15 from the field, it was his perfect work from the free throw line (6-of-6), especially in the final minute – and more specifically the two he sunk in the final 14 seconds – that allowed his team to win for the fifth time in seven games.
"He's mad about the four turnovers because he just demands excellence of himself," Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said of the sophomore guard.
Harvey's pair of shots from the stripe pushed Eastern into an 80-75 lead and fellow soph, Venky Jois sealed it with two more foul shots with three seconds to play. Jois had a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
"These guys are sophomores, and it is really fun when you are coaching guys that play really hard and are smart," Hayford said of Harvey and Jois.
After bolting to an 11-point lead early in the first half, Eastern found itself in a dogfight with the West Coast Athletic Conference Redhawks who fell to 3-3 with the loss. They trailed by six in the second half, 52-46 with 14 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the game.
A 10-0 run by the Redhawks gave them a 47-42 lead early in the second half. Eastern went 2:43 without scoring. But a 6-0 Eastern run tied the game at 52 with 12:13 to play. The teams traded leads over the next seven minutes.
Eastern regained the lead, 67-65 on a 3-pointer by Harvey with 5:25 to play. He broke a 67-all tie and gave Eastern a 70-67 lead at the 4:56 mark.
"Tyler obviously had a tremendous game," Hayford said. "He is an extremely talented offensive player, and he has improved in every level of his game."
Junior point guard Drew Brandon chipped in 12 points and seven assists, and Ognjen Miljkovic came off the bench to score 10.
"It is a very satisfying win," Hayford said. "When I woke up this morning, I remembered at the end of my last year at Whitworth being told your team is 50-2 in your last 52 games. I told myself it is just as satisfying to get our team to 5-2 tonight because these guys have been through so much."
After a nine-day layoff for Thanksgiving, the Eagles jump back into a more leisurely game a week pace throughout the month of December. However the competition, includes games at West Coast Conference power St. Mary's (Dec. 8), a home rematch versus UC Irvine (Dec. 15) and then on the road at Seton Hall (Dec. 22) and Big East heavyweight, Connecticut (Dec. 28).
The Eagles and Gaels tip off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday with Larry Weir calling the play-by-play on 700ESPN.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.