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Tue., Jan. 17, 2012, 11:24 a.m.

Eagles fly home, face PSU next

We're not even at the halfway mark, but the Big Sky basketball race is shaping up. Well, Weber State is shaping up to dominate the conference.

The Wildcats, who have many more weapons besides national scoring leader Damian Lillard, moved into sole possession of first place after an easy win over Montana. At the bottom are Sac State, Idaho State and NAU, all of whom are struggling for various reasons.

That leaves a pack of five teams, including Eastern Washington, in the middle.

The Eagles (9-10 overall and 3-3 in the Big Sky). are coming off a tough road trip that included 1) a four-point win over Sac State that was earned despite shooting 35 percent from the field; 2) one-point loss at Northern Colorado that could have gone either way; and 3) a one-sided defeat at Seattle U. Monday night.

Up next is a key home game Saturday against Portland State. Can we really say "key" already? Yes, considering that a loss would give the Eagles their fourth conference loss and put them at the bottom of the middle pack of teams.

The Vikings (9-9 and 3-3) are statistically the best offensive team in the Sky, and through six games ranked second in field goal percentage at 50.3 percent.

AROUND THE BIG SKY - Sac State is struggling, but is trying to stay upbeat after blowing a 22-point lead and falling to Idaho State... Former Northern Arizona quarterback Michael Herrick is going pro, but not in the NFL. Herrick is the all-time leader in completion percentage (65) and yards per pass (7.5).

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Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, Gonzaga Universtiy women's basketball and college and high school soccer.

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