Area men’s basketball
Five different players scored 11 points for Eastern Washington on Friday night as the Eagles romped past Grambling 81-55 in the first round of New Mexico’s Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.
Kareem Scott, Kevin Lewis, Michael Lewis, Mike Simms and reserve Travis King shared team scoring honors as EWU (1-0) earned a shot against host New Mexico in tonight’s 7:15 title game in The Pit.
The 18th-ranked Lobos (2-0) swamped Columbia 94-56 in Friday’s other first-round game as Charles Smith tossed in a game-high 26 points for the winners.
A crowd of nearly 18,000 is expected for the championship game.
“What an exciting opportunity for our program and our team,” second-year Eagle coach Steve Aggers said after his team disposed of Grambling (0-1). “Our guys in the locker room right now are just so excited about playing (New Mexico). This was a great win. It’s exciting to start the season like this.”
Eastern started slowly and fell behind 16-10 before settling in offensively. King, who scored all of his points in the first half, hit a 3-pointer to give EWU its first lead at 21-19.
The Eagles pushed their advantage to 36-25 at halftime and used some stifling defensive pressure to hold Grambling to just under 32-percent shooting from the field and bury any Tiger comeback hopes.
Aggers said he liked his team’s scoring balance, defensive effort and 46-30 rebounding edge.
Whitworth 80, E. Oregon 63
Transfer Ben Heimerman scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Pirates broke open a close game late in first half and went on to tip EOSC in the first round of the Lewis-Clark State College tournament in Lewiston.
Jeff Mix added 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Pirates (1-0), who face Northwest College - an 85-79 first-round winner over host LCSC in tonight’s 7:30 championship game.
Eastern Oregon State (4-2) got 18 points from Mitch Despanic.
Everett CC 83, CC Spokane 80
Visiting CCS rallied from a 26-point second-half deficit to take a late three-point lead, but wilted down the stretch in dropping its season opener.
Antoine Alexander threw in 19 points to lead the Sasquatch in scoring. Kasey Ahren added 16 and Randy Moffatt and Jason Smith each chipped in 13 for CCS.
Darrell Walker scored 18 points to pace Everett (1-0).
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