Jois, McBroom Lead Eagles Past Southern Utah in 106-80 Blowout - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Jois, McBroom Lead Eagles Past Southern Utah in 106-80 Blowout

Venky Jois Had 45, Austin McBroom had 25 As the Eagles blow out SUU Venky Jois Had 45, Austin McBroom had 25 As the Eagles blow out SUU

EWU Athletics

On some nights, you don't need the three-point shot as much.

With senior Venky Jois leading the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds, the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team displayed a superb drive game in powering past Southern Utah 106-80 in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Thursday (Jan. 14) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

The 30th double-double in the career of Jois was complemented by a 61 percent shooting night for the Eagles – their second-best of the season and tops against a NCAA Division I opponent. Austin McBroom scored 25 points in just 27 minutes of action – the same amount Jois played. Julian Harrell had 15 in just 19 minutes.

"We set the tone of the game early by going inside to Venky," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford, whose team hosts Northern Arizona Saturday at 12:05 p.m. at Reese Court. "They have one experienced post player and we wanted to go at him and get him into foul trouble. They didn't double-team him, so Venky was really good."

Eastern finished with 11 3-pointers, but attempted just four in the first half. Eastern led by as many as 19 points in the first half and 32 in the second half.

"This is what you want – light minutes on your players on Thursday so they're good for Saturday," Hayford added. "We'll take it."

The Eagles are now 2-2 in the Big Sky and 8-8 overall with their second-straight league victory after opening the year with road defeats at Northern Colorado and North Dakota. In the last two games, including a 74-60 win over Idaho, Eastern has led for 77:38 out of a possible 80 minutes.

Now 1-3 in the Big Sky and 3-11 overall, Southern Utah picked up a season-opening 93-82 home win over Montana State, but has lost its last two. In their last outing, the Thunderbirds lost at home 73-63 to Northern Arizona, EWU's opponent on Saturday (Jan. 16).

With road wins golden in the Big Sky Conference, the Eagles have taken care of business at home in the first two games of three-game homestand. The Thunderbirds are now 1-7 on the road and 3-11 overall this year, while NAU is 1-8 on opponent home courts and is 3-12 on the season following its 83-76 loss at Idaho on Thursday. In Big Sky Conference preseason polls, Southern Utah was picked to finish fifth by the coaches and ninth by the media, with NAU selected to finish fourth in both polls right behind No. 3 Eastern. A year ago, SUU finished 7-11 in the league and 10-19 overall, and the Lumberjacks were 13-5 in the Big Sky and finished the year 23-15 and as the runner-up in the CollegeInsider Tournament (CIT).

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