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Ewu’s Misfortunes Continue

Tough times continued for the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team Thursday night.

The Eagles turned the ball over 19 times in dropping their Big Sky Conference opener to Northern Arizona 79-62 at Walkup Skydome.

And they might have lost starting guard Michael Lewis in the process.

Lewis, a 6-foot-6 junior who came into the game averaging 8.6 points, injured his left leg while fighting for a loose ball late in the second half and could be sidelined for an extended period, according to Eagles coach Steve Aggers.

“The NAU doctor looked at him, and he suspects a fracture,” Aggers said. “It doesn’t look good right now.”

In the meantime, while his team continues to contend with the recent death of point guard Rod McClure, Aggers must try to find a way to patch his team up in time for Saturday night’s 7:05 matchup at Cal State Northridge.

“It’s just going to take this team a week or two to learn how to play with this reshuffled lineup,” Aggers admitted after watching his Eagles (4-7) lose their fourth in a row. “But if we can reduce our turnovers and play with the same kind of intensity as we did tonight … I think we’ll be OK.”

Turnovers were certainly a huge factor against NAU (7-3), which used 13 EWU miscues to forge a modest 36-30 lead at intermission. But the Lumberjacks also benefitted from the first-half absence of the Eagles’ leading scorer, Karim Scott, who was benched until early in the second half because of an unspecified infraction of team rules.

Scott, who was averaging just more than 11 points a game, managed only four in just less than 18 minutes.

Still, Eastern managed to jump to a 4-0 lead and was still tied at 24 late in the first half before three consecutive 3-pointers - two by Ross Land - sparked a ninepoint NAU run.

The Eagles, who got 15 points each from Kevin Lewis and Travis King, trailed by as many as 16 points (65-49) but closed to within 67-59 on King’s short jumper with just more than 2 minutes left.

EWU was forced to foul from that point on, however, and the Lumberjacks made enough free throws down the stretch to keep their lead at a comfortable level.

N. Arizona 79, E. Washington 62

E. Washington (4-7) - Egan 4-8 2-2 10, Sims 0-2 0-0 0, K. Lewis 7-14 1-2 15, King 4-11 7-9 15, M. Lewis 2-4 0-0 4, Moss-Kelly 0-1 0-0 0, Claus 1-3 0-0 3, Berger 0-4 0-0 0, Scott 2-3 0-0 4, Turner III 4-7 3-3 11. Totals 24-57 13-16 62.

N. Arizona (7-3) - Mavis 3-11 2-4 10, Hix 0-2 0-0 0, Frank 5-6 0-0 10, Thomas 7-11 10-14 25, Land 4-7 2-3 13, McNair 5-9 1-1 13, Abbott 1-1 1-2 4, Taylor 1-2 0-0 2, McClintock 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 26-51 18-26 79.

Halftime-N. Arizona 36, E. Washington 30. 3-Point goals-E. Washington 1-6 (Claus 1-1, Moss-Kelly 0-1, Egan 0-1, King 0-3). N. Arizona 9-20 (Land 3-6, McNair 2-4, Mavis 2-7, Thomas 1-1, Abbott 1-1, Taylor 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-E. Washington 33 (Egan 7). N. Arizona 29 (Mavis, Thomas 5). Assists-E. Washington 11, (King 5); N. Arizona 18 (Thomas 8). Total fouls-E. Washington 22, N. Arizona. 16. Technical-Thomas. A-1,130.


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