Eastern hangs with UConn, but fades in end
Eastern Washington fell short of the tall order of toppling legendary basketball giant, the University of Connecticut, but it certainly was not for lack of trying.
The Eagles hung with the No. 15 UConn Huskies off and on most of the game before falling 82-65 last Saturday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. as Eastern concluded its nonconference schedule. The Eagles spent the week of Christmas on the East Coast opening with a 92-70 loss to Seton Hall Dec. 22.
“It was a good day for us even though we didn’t get the win,” Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said.
Eastern stayed close to the Huskies, trailing 30-23 at the break. But like they did the entire game, UConn answered with their own points.
One of the big differences in the game came at the free throw line where Connecticut made 25-of-27 to just 6-of-7 for the Eagles. Shabazz Napier led the Huskies with 15 points and Ryan Boatright 14, two of five players in double-figures for 11-1 UConn.
Tyler Harvey scored 19 while true freshman Ognjen “O.G.” Miljkovic came off the bench to score a career high 15 points. Drew Brandon added 13 points and Parker Kelly had 10 for the 5-6 Eagles.
Eastern opens league play on the road at Weber State tonight (Jan. 2) and Idaho State Saturday.