Eastern basketball rebounds with home win

EWU’s Venky Jois, center, looks to score between Walla Walla’s Tyreek Luckett, left, and Jordan Spady. (Jesse Tinsley)

As they buried Walla Walla on Tuesday night, the Eastern Washington basketball team also put to rest the memories of a loss at Washington two nights earlier.

“At the end of the day, this is a game we should win, and did win,” coach Jim Hayford said after the Eagles dispatched the NAIA visitors 82-44 in front of 1,119 fans at Reese Court.

In a game that had little drama, but plenty of highlights, Eastern led by scores of 11-0 and 23-5 against a Wolves team that’s now 0-9. Nine different Eagle players saw at least 14 minutes of action, and Eastern led by as many as 44 points late in the game.

The Eagles are 2-1 going into the three-game 2K Sports Classic on Friday in Irvine, Calif. On consecutive days, Eastern will face Boston University, Long Island-Brooklyn and host school UC Irvine.

“I scheduled that to show what life would be like if we were in the Big Sky Tournament, and to go to the NCAA tournament,” Hayford said.

The Eagles’ next home game is Nov. 29 against Seattle.

Center Martin Seiferth led Eastern with 24 points and 18 rebounds, narrowly missing the program’s first 20-20 game since Paul Butorac had 20 points and 22 boards against Lewis-Clark State in 2006.

Seiferth, a junior transfer from Oregon, also had a reverse slam-dunk that put the Eagles ahead 44-23 early in the second half.

“I feel like we’re definitely better than last year, more aggressive,” Seiferth said.

Guard Tyler Harvey had 15 points and forward Venky Jois added 14. Transfer point guard Drew Brandon had nine boards and 10 assists.

“Rebounding is something we better improve on from last year, or we will have the same results,” said Hayford, whose team was 10-21 overall and 7-13 in the Big Sky Conference last season.

“Drew really helps us on the boards,” said Hayford.

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