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Eagles drop seventh straight

EWU gets within 3 late but no closer

By From News Services

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Justin Eller scored 17 points and Duro Bjegovic came off the bench to add 13 points and eight rebounds as Sacramento State beat Eastern Washington 74-67 on Sunday in college basketball, handing the Eagles their seventh consecutive loss.

John Dickson had 12 points and four blocks and Antonio Flaggs scored 11 points for the Hornets (9-16, 3-9 Big Sky), who recorded 10 blocks.

Jeffrey Forbes’ 18 (including 4 of 6 from 3-point range), Glen Dean’s 15 and Mark Dunn’s 11 points led the Eagles (6-18, 2-8). Dunn added eight rebounds.

After trailing by 12 points, the Eagles charged back to cut the Hornets’ lead to 62-59 on a 3-pointer by Kevin Winford with 2:22 left.

The Hornets outscored the Eagles 12-8 the rest of the way.

Eller had two of the three straight baskets the Hornets made after EWU had cut the lead to three with 2:19 to play. Sac State closed out the win by making 5 of 8 free throws in the final 26 seconds.

“They made a couple of contested baskets,” Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine said of Sac State’s late surge. “But those aren’t the ones that get you beat. Our mistakes are what beat us.”

Sac State led 37-26 at halftime on the strength of 12-for-22 shooting.

Eastern allowed Sac State to make 52 percent of its shots from the field, including 55 percent in the first half. The Eagles made only 38 percent.

“They drove on us a lot – that was a recurring theme in this game,” said Earlywine. “In the final 15 seconds of the shot clock, somebody drove the ball on us. When the shot clock gets down to those short seconds like that, you need to really dig in and be tougher. We weren’t able to do that.”

EWU post players Dunn, Brandon Moore and Matt Brunell scored just four points in the first half on 1-of-11 shooting.

“When you shoot 38 percent it’s hard,” said Earlywine. “In the first half, Matt, Mark and Brandon went 1 of 11. That’s pretty tough to overcome. We missed 18 shots in the first half and had only four offensive rebounds. That was an indication our front line guys were not playing hard enough.”

The Eagles come home to host Montana State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. then are hosts to Montana on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Sacramento St. 74, EWU 67

 E. Washington (6-18, 2-8)- Dunn 4-7 3-4 11, Moore 2-8 2-4 6, Dean 5-10 4-4 15, Forbes 6-8 2-2 18, Winford 2-6 0-0 5, Valentine 1-6 0-0 2, Gibbs 0-1 1-2 1, Gibson 0-1 0-0 0, Griffin 4-7 1-3 9, Demissie 0-5 0-0 0, Brunell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 13-19 67.

Sacramento State (9-16, 3-9)- Selling 0-2 0-0 0, Eller 5-7 7-8 17, Stigall 1-2 0-0 2, Marcial 1-1 3-4 6, Flaggs 3-5 2-2 11, Dickson 4-7 1-2 12, Malloy 0-0 0-0 0, Toles-Bey 3-6 2-2 8, Daniel 2-3 1-3 5, Bjegovic 5-13 2-3 13. Totals 24-46 18-24 74.

Halftime—Sacramento St. 37-26. 3-Point Goals—EWU 6-21 (Forbes 4-6, Dean 1-4, Winford 1-4, Gibson 0-1, Demissie 0-2, Valentine 0-2, Dunn 0-2), Sacramento St. 8-16 (Flaggs 3-4, Dickson 3-4, Marcial 1-1, Bjegovic 1-4, Selling 0-1, Toles-Bey 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—EWU 37 (Dunn 8), Sacramento St. 30 (Bjegovic 8). Assists—E. Washington 12 (Dean 5), Sacramento St. 18 (Marcial 6). Total Fouls—EWU 19, Sacramento St. 18. A—396.

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