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St. Mary's rolls over Eastern 93-65

 

Tod Fierner

Eastern Washington's Drew Brandon puts up a shot in last Sunday's men's basketball game against St. Mary's in Moraga, Calif. Brandon scored 14 points in the 95-63 nonconference loss.

Eastern Washington found out just how tough the St. Mary's Gaels can be at McKeon Pavilion.

Brad Waldow led five Saint Mary's players in double figures with 20 points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot as the West Coast Conference Gaels beat Eastern 93-65 last Sunday and won their 25th straight home game against nonconference opponents in Moraga, Calif.

"Saint Mary's is a better team than I thought – they whooped us," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. "They are a very good team and I give them credit for the win."

Waldow led a 49-36 rebounding advantage for the 7-0 Gaels, including 18-10 on the offensive glass.

"He's a really good player," Hayford said. "They had some high-percentage looks and we didn't impede what they wanted to do offensively."

Saint Mary's went to the locker room at the break ahead 41-26. The Gaels used early runs of 6-0, 8-0 and 6-0 to jump out to an early double-digit advantage they would never relinquish.

Eastern pulled within 12 on a pair of free throws by Parker Kelly with 17:38 remaining, but could come no closer.

Eastern finished the Saint Mary's game at 39 percent, and made only 4-of-23 shots from the 3-point stripe for 17 percent. Eastern had entered the game with an average of 8.7 successful 3s per game for 41.5 percent. St. Mary's was allowing 28 percent from long-range coming into the game.

The Gaels out-scored EWU 44-24 inside the paint, and also made 8-of-17 3-point shots.

Sophomore guard Tyler Harvey led the Eagles with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. Junior point guard Drew Brandon added 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and a pair of assists. The rest of the team made only 11-of-36 for 31 percent.

"This game didn't come easy," Hayford said. "Saint Mary's is a top 25 team. We just have to use it to get ourselves better."

Eastern, off to its best start in five seasons, fell to 5-3. The Eagles December schedule also includes games against UC Irvine, Seton Hall and Connecticut before opening Big Sky Conference play Jan. 2. Eastern fell to UC Irvine 81-58 Nov. 24, and the Eagles and Anteaters will meet in a rematch Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2:05 p.m.

 

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