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Eastern Washington men cruise past overmatched Portland Bible College in season opener

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 5, 2019

Action from the Portland Bible at Eastern Washington men’s college basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Cheney. (Ralph  Walter / The Spokesman-Review)
Action from the Portland Bible at Eastern Washington men’s college basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Cheney. (Ralph Walter / The Spokesman-Review)

A small, obscure NAIA or NCAA Division III foe is annually included in the tune-up portion of Eastern Washington’s schedule.

Corban University and George Fox are some of the more recent smaller schools to leave Cheney with a lopsided loss.

They’d look like Pac-12 teams standing next to EWU’s season-opening opponent Tuesday.

Portland Bible College, a Division II member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, was overwhelmed by EWU in a 107-25 nonconference blistering at Reese Court.

The Eagles (1-0), picked first in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches poll, scored at will against the overmatched, undersized Wildcats.

By the end of the first flurry of dunks, blocked shots and 3-pointers, the Eagles had a 30-point cushion. The pace continued no matter how deep head coach Shantay Legans went into his bench.

“A lot of freshmen got to score their first basket, so they got that out of the way,” Legans said.

“We got a home game under our belt before we go out and play four straight on the road.”

All-Big Sky guard Jacob Davison sprung for three first-half dunks, finishing with a team-high 15 points to lead six Eagles in double figures. Thirteen Eagles reached the scoring column.

Starting point guard Ellis Magnuson, a true freshman, dished out 11 assists for EWU and Shadle Park graduate Tanner Groves had 12 rebounds.

“It was good to push the guys based on how hard we could run,” Legans said. “We could have been lackluster and played slower and not gotten much out of it, but they played with as much energy as they could.”

EWU forced the Wildcats – whose tallest player was 6-foot-5 – into 34 turnovers, turning them into 53 points.

Portland Bible, which used 10 players and has one coach on staff, was held to 14% shooting from the field.

EWU opens the Division I portion of its schedule Saturday at Seattle University, coached by former EWU head coach Jim Hayford.

Next Wednesday, the Eagles face Saint Louis on the road. Former EWU, Utah and Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti is an assistant at Saint Louis.

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