Eastern Washington took care of the basketball and, as a result, took care of resurgent Northern Arizona.
When Northern Arizona made the trek to Cheney a year ago, Eastern Washington junior Jacob Davison dropped 41 points on the Lumberjacks, at a time when the NAU averaged roughly five conference wins in a four-year stretch.
The Eastern Washington Eagles needed Mason Peatling to hold off upset-minded Sacramento State 77-76 on Thursday at Reese Court when the Hornets threatened to hand EWU its second consecutive home loss.
Jacob Davison had 30 points as Eastern Washington beat Portland State 89-81 on Saturday night.
Eastern Washington opened the second half of Big Sky Conference play at the top of the league standings, eyeing a final 10-game stretch that included six home games. It’s cooled off since.
Before Eastern Washington coach Shantay Legans handed in his preseason Big Sky Conference ballot in October, he dubbed Idaho - last place a season ago, last place in the polls and currently tied for last – a “sneaky good and talented” team.
Eastern Washington found itself on traditional Big Sky Conference contender Idaho’ heels thanks to a couple first-half runs, but the result was ultimately the same for the swooning Eagles.
Mason Peatling brought more than crafty post play and a beyond-his-years disposition to Eastern Washington, the second biggest commitment of the Australian’s young life.
Losing to Montana has a way of lighting a fire under Eastern Washington.
Montana’s length and physicality helped slow down Eastern Washington forward Kim Aiken Jr. on Thursday, again holding the typically high-scoring junior to single digits in an emotional, foul-filled contest.
In a stop-and-go game that featured 55 combined fouls – six of the emotional and subsequently technical-foul variety – Eastern Washington still made its runs.
Perry has helped EWU get atop the Big Sky as it heads to Missoula on Thursday to face fellow preseason conference favorite and back-to-back defending champ Montana (12-10, 8-3).