OGDEN, Utah – Jeffrey Forbes and Cliff Colimon each scored 17 points, and Cliff Ederaine added 16 – along with six rebounds – Wednesday night as Eastern Washington University posted a 75-59 upset road win over Big Sky Conference rival Weber State in the regular-season finale for both schools.
The Eagles (10-19 overall, 7-9 Big Sky), who knocked off Montana in overtime on Saturday, rolled up a 40-22 halftime lead and then withstood an 11-3 second-half run by the two-time defending champion Wildcats (17-11, 11-5) to close their regular-season schedule with two consecutive wins.
Forbes, a sophomore guard, connected on 7 of 9 field-goal attempts – including 3 of 5 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc – and also had two of the Eagles’ 10 steals.
Colimon, a first-year junior transfer, made 4 of 6 3-point attempts and connected on 3 of 4 free-throw tries, while Ederaine converted on 6 of 10 basket tries and also chased down six rebounds, just three less than teammate Laron Griffin’s game-high nine.
Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine called his team’s effort one of its most complete of the season.
“I don’t think there’s any question these last two games are the best we’ve played,” he said. “We didn’t play all that well (in a 60-56 loss) against Montana State, and (in a 68-59 nonconference loss) against (Cal State) Northridge, prior to that.
“But we were able to play for all 40 minutes the last two games, so I think it would be easy to make the case that we’re playing our best right now.”
Last weekend’s win over Montana qualified the Eagles for the six-team Big Sky Conference tournament for the first time in five seasons.
Wednesday night’s victory earned Eastern a No.6 seed into the tournament and a first-round rematch against Weber State in Ogden on Saturday.
Saturday’s other opener has No. 5 Montana State at No. 4 Northern Arizona.
No. 1 Northern Colorado and No. 2 Montana have opening-round byes.
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