Eagles Survive Test from Bobcats - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles Survive Test from Bobcats

Posted:
 
CHENEY, Wash. -- The Eastern Washington University men's basketball team survived yet another comeback by Montana State and the Eagles opened the second half of the Big Sky Conference season with a hard-fought 72-68 victory over the BobcatsThursday (Jan. 31) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Senior Collin Chiverton led the Eagles with 20 points, including four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds. The Eagles limited Montana State to 30 percent shooting – a season best for the Eagles -- as the Bobcats came up short after rallying from a 13-point deficit in the second half. In a 70-68 loss at Montana State earlier this season, the Eagles led by as many as 15 in the second half before falling.

Senior Kevin Winford added 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Eagles, who improved to 6-15 overall and 4-7 in the league. Sophomore Parker Kelly had 15 points in helping drop Montana State to 6-5 in the Big Sky and 9-10 overall.

 "Any win is a good win, but this is a big one," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. "Montana State is playing as good as basketball as anybody except maybe Montana. They are a good team, and this was a good win. We did some growing up today."

Thursday's game was the first of two visits from two of the top three teams in the league standings, as league-leading and defending champion Montana rolls into Cheney on Saturday (Feb. 2). Eastern has now won the first two games of a three-game homestand.

"This was a good win," Hayford said. "Right now we are building this program with our (young) team. We gut checked it (at the end), and we finished it out with some adversity through the end. That's good because it's a growing point. We have had some times where we have hit adversity and not grinded it out. It is really important for us to taste that, and to have success."

After EWU held a pair of 13-point leads in the second half, Montana State used runs of 6-0, 5-0 and 8-0 to pull within 64-63 with 2:53 to play. But Chiverton hit a key basket with 1:21 left and made all four of his free throws in the final 30 seconds. The Bobcats missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds to help Eastern, which had nine second-half turnovers after just four in the first half.

The Eagles also survived 27 percent shooting in the second half after a 52 percent first half. And the Bobcats out-rebounded Eastern 45-41, and had 16 offensive boards leading to 15 second-chance points.

"There's no secret the reason we won tonight was because we played outstanding defense," said Hayford. "They are a hard team to guard because they spread you out, and then they try to take you off the drive. That gets them to the free throw line, and they are a great free throw shooting team. Give credit to our guys for realizing that's how we defend."

True freshman Venky Jois had a career high seven assists and equaled his career high with 14 rebounds for EWU, and he also had eight points and three blocked shots. Jois, however, missed the last 3:15 with an ankle injury, and Hayford said his status for Saturday will be a game-time decision.

Eastern used a 7-0 run to jump out to an early 15-11 lead on Chiverton's fastbreak basket with 10:52 to play. Chiverton then scored five-straight points to help EWU open a 25-17 lead with 6:50 left.

The Eagles then led by 10 on four occasions before settling for a 41-36 halftime lead.

Chiverton scored 12 points in the first half and Kelly had 10 as they combined for 9-of-15 shooting from the field. As a team , Eastern made 52 percent of its shots compared to 30 percent for the Bobcats.

Scores by Martin Seiferth with 17:21 and 15:07 left in the second half helped give EWU 13-point cushions before MSU rallied. But the difference for the Eagles were 10 second half points by Winford and Chiverton's six down the stretch. Those two players combined to make 11-of-23 shots from the field and 7-of-7 free throws.

"The big thing for us was down the stretch is that we had seniors step up," said Hayford. "Kevin was a great defensive rebounder in the second half, and Collin made free throws down the stretch. That's showing the young guys how to do it. When you get those kinds of contributions it will be fun. It is going to be a lot better result."

The Montana game begins at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time and will be televised live in the Eastern Washington region on SWX. As part of "Alumni Appreciation and White Out Reese Night" at Reese Court, the first 1,500 Eagle fans Saturday will receive free "Our House" t-shirts courtesy of Northern Quest Casino and Resort.

The radio broadcast of all Eastern games is on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.700espn.com and via iPhone application (search for "700 ESPN" and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via www.tunein.com and tunein's mobile phone app. Larry Weir returns for his 20th year as the play-by-play voice of the Eagles.

  • Local Sports from SWXLocal Sports from SWXMore>>

  • 2014 High School Football Schedule on SWX

    HS Football Broadcasts

    Check inside to see the broadcast lineup for the 2014 high school football season on SWX! This year promises to be the best year yet for SWX, with games viewable in HD in many areas around the region.More >>
    Check inside to see the broadcast lineup for the 2014 high school football season on SWX! This year promises to be the best year yet for SWX, with games viewable in HD in many areas around the region.
    More >>
  • Dialed In: Breaking Down UW, WSU And The Pac-12

    Dialed In: Breaking Down UW, WSU And The Pac-12

    SWXRightNow.com -- SWX's Neil Stover invited Tacoma News Tribune University of Washington beat writer Christian Caple and the Spokesman-Review's Washington State beat man Jacob Thorpe into the Fasteners Sports Studio to breakdown both football programs and where they slot into the Pac-12 Conference.More >>
    SWXRightNow.com -- SWX's Neil Stover invited Tacoma News Tribune University of Washington beat writer Christian Caple and the Spokesman-Review's Washington State beat man Jacob Thorpe into the Fasteners Sports Studio to breakdown both football programs and where they slot into the Pac-12 Conference.More >>
  • Seahawks' Wilson, 49ers' Kaepernick Earn Cover Places

    Seahawks' Wilson, 49ers' Kaepernick Earn Cover Places

    SWXRightNow.com -- The rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks found its way onto one of Sports Illustrated's four regional NFL Preview covers that hit newsstands this week in the form of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.More >>
    SWXRightNow.com -- The rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks found its way onto one of Sports Illustrated's four regional NFL Preview covers that hit newsstands this week in the form of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.
    More >>
  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • WSU Falls To Rutgers In Season Opener

    WSU Falls To Rutgers In Season Opener

    Paul James ran for 173 yards and his third touchdown run with 3:24 left gave Rutgers a wild 41-38 victory over Washington State on Thursday night in the Scarlet Knights' first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference.More >>
    Paul James ran for 173 yards and his third touchdown run with 3:24 left gave Rutgers a wild 41-38 victory over Washington State on Thursday night in the Scarlet Knights' first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference.More >>
  • LIVE ON SWX: EWU Won't Look Back Vs. Montana-Western

    LIVE ON SWX: EWU Won't Look Back Vs. Montana-Western

    In college football, you can't look back. And you can't look forward too much either. Coming off a monumental victory, the top-ranked Eastern Washington University football team remains at home to face Montana Western on Saturday ,Aug. 30, on Youth Football Day at Roos Field.More >>
    In college football, you can't look back. And you can't look forward too much either. Coming off a monumental victory, the top-ranked Eastern Washington University football team remains at home to face Montana Western on Saturday ,Aug. 30, on Youth Football Day at Roos Field.
    More >>
  • Dialed In: Breaking Down UW, WSU And The Pac-12

    Dialed In: Breaking Down UW, WSU And The Pac-12

    SWXRightNow.com -- SWX's Neil Stover invited Tacoma News Tribune University of Washington beat writer Christian Caple and the Spokesman-Review's Washington State beat man Jacob Thorpe into the Fasteners Sports Studio to breakdown both football programs and where they slot into the Pac-12 Conference.More >>
    SWXRightNow.com -- SWX's Neil Stover invited Tacoma News Tribune University of Washington beat writer Christian Caple and the Spokesman-Review's Washington State beat man Jacob Thorpe into the Fasteners Sports Studio to breakdown both football programs and where they slot into the Pac-12 Conference.More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • LIVE ON SWX: EWU Won't Look Back Vs. Montana-Western

    LIVE ON SWX: EWU Won't Look Back Vs. Montana-Western

    In college football, you can't look back. And you can't look forward too much either. Coming off a monumental victory, the top-ranked Eastern Washington University football team remains at home to face Montana Western on Saturday ,Aug. 30, on Youth Football Day at Roos Field.More >>
    In college football, you can't look back. And you can't look forward too much either. Coming off a monumental victory, the top-ranked Eastern Washington University football team remains at home to face Montana Western on Saturday ,Aug. 30, on Youth Football Day at Roos Field.
    More >>
  • EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday.More >>
    Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday. More >>
  • EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in Eagle football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...More >>
    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in Eagle football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and SWXRN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.