Cheney Free Press -

Eastern to face off against Seattle U, Hayford, Dec. 3


November 30, 2017

The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team wants to treat its next outing like just another game on the schedule, but it will be hard to overlook who is on the opposing sideline.

The Eagles will face former coach Jim Hayford and his Seattle University team on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. at KeyArena. Hayford’s Redhawks’ team was 2-4 after falling to Washington 89-84 Nov. 24.

“We can’t look forward to anything else besides our next game,” Eastern head coach Shantay Legans, who served as an assistant during Hayford’s six seasons at EWU, said. “We just want to go out and perform like we should.”

Legans, on the staff for eight years at Eastern, was announced as the Eagles’ new head coach a day after the departure of Hayford to Seattle University March 29. Hayford won 103 games during his time in Cheney and took Eastern to the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Seattle faced Idaho State and Kennesaw State before taking on the Eagles.

Hayford is not the only Eastern connection for the Redhawks. Their associate head coach is former Eastern assistant Chris Victor.

Seattle is averaging 81.5 points and more than 10 3-pointers made per game on an average of nearly 30 attempts per game — both trademarks of Hayford-coached teams.

Eastern is 15-9 all-time against Seattle in a series that has included at least one game annually since 2009. In the last two years the Eagles and Redhawks played each other twice in a season. A year ago in a pair of tightly-contested games that both went to double overtime, Eastern won in Seattle 93-88 after winning in Cheney 80-76.

“They are a good team,” Legans said. “They took UW down to the last few minutes and have played some good games. They also had Washington State on the ropes in Pullman. We’re looking forward to the test and our guys are excited.”

The Eagles are in the midst of a stretch of 36-straight days without a home game. They completed last week with a 1-2 record and a 3-4 overall following a 68-50 loss Nov. 20 to Georgia State and an 83-62 win over Eastern Kentucky in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas. Friday the Eagles fell to the University of Utah 85-69.

The Seattle game starts a stretch of four more road games before a pair of pre-Christmas home games. The first leg of EWU’s road stretch includes 4,432 airline miles, while the other trips in the road stretch will include 6,408 miles. That’s a total of 10,840 air miles, not including ground travel.

Those games are Dec. 7 at the University of San Francisco, Dec. 10 at South Dakota and Dec. 12 at Wyoming before a return to Reese Court to face Cal State Northridge on Dec. 17.


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