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Eagles Show Signs Of Soaring With Win Ewu Defeats Weber St. For First Two-Game Big Sky Streak Since ‘93

Good basketball teams hit clutch shots, make big defensive stops and calmly swish free throws down the stretch.

Eastern Washington appears ready to be a good basketball team.

The Eagles won back-to-back Big Sky Conference games for the first time in four years by ending a nine-game losing streak against Weber State. EWU whipped the Wildcats 81-73 before 1,310 fans at Reese Court Saturday night.

The Eagles did it my making 56 percent of their shots (27 of 48), holding Weber State to 40 percent (29 of 73) and hitting 17 of 18 free throws in a 5-minute stretch to seal the win.

“I’m happy for our players,” second-year coach Steve Aggers said. “They were able to pull together to overcome adversity and get a nice win.”

All five starters scored in double figures and all nine Eagles who played scored.

“They’re as athletic as anyone in the league, probably more athletic than we expected,” Weber State coach Ron Abegglen said. “They did a tremendous job inside. The big guys hurt us constantly. We couldn’t stop the ball from going into the low post or the high post.”

Kevin Lewis, a 6-foot-10 junior center, led the Eagles with 18 points (one shy of his season high), eight rebounds (his season high) and three blocked shots.

“I just came to grips with I wasn’t playing hard enough,” said Lewis, a transfer from Kansas State. “In order for me to be a better basketball player, I had to play harder. Whenever I play hard, I play pretty well but sometimes I don’t play hard enough. That’s when I don’t show up.”

Forwards Mike Sims and Karim Scott combined for 25 points and nine rebounds, taking turns hitting tough shots in the lane. Guard Luke Egan had 15 points, including consecutive demoralizing 3-pointers. Point guard Travis King had eight assists and added 10 points, all coming on free throws starting with 5:18 to play and the Wildcats within six at 60-54.

Egan and Sims matched their season highs.

“When we went to the press we told them to keep track of King and Egan and we didn’t keep track of Egan,” Abegglen said. “We also said don’t foul King, even if we have to burn a few seconds off the clock until he gives up the ball.”

Weber’s only lead was 2-0 and when the Wildcats cut an early five-point deficit to one, Eastern went on a 13-0 run to make it 30-16 6:36 before the half.

The Eagles led 37-25 at halftime with a near flawless half that included 13 assists on 16 baskets.

“We really executed our offense well and got good shots,” Aggers said. Besides being 2-2 in the conference, the Eagles are 6-8 overall, matching the most wins they’ve had since the 1990-91 season. Weber State is also 2-2 in the Big Sky, 6-7 overall. Their last loss to Eastern was in Cheney in the first meeting of the 1991-92 season.

E. Washington 81, Weber St. 73

Weber St. (6-7) - Ketcham 0-2 0-0 0, Cuff 5-13 0-1 13, Wrigg 0-2 0-0 0, Baskerville 9-17 2-4 20, Fisher 5-18 1-2 14, Smith 2-4 0-0 5, Jama 2-5 0-0 4, Nedeker 0-1 0-0 0, Emery 0-2 0-0 0, Miller 4-6 1-1 11, Sparrow 0-1 2-2 2, Haws 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 29-73 6-10 73.

E. Washington (6-8) - Sims 5-10 3-4 13, Scott 6-8 0-3 12, Lewis 7-11 4-4 18, King 0-4 10-10 10, Egan 4-8 4-5 15, Moss-Kelley 2-2 0-0 5, Claus 0-0 1-2 1, Berger 3-5 0-0 6, Turner 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 27-48 23-30 81.

Halftime-E. Washington 37, Weber St. 25. 3-Point goals-Weber St. 9-28 (Cuff 3-8, Baskerville 0-3, Fisher 3-9, Smith 1-1, Jama 0-2, Emery 0-1, Miller 2-4), E. Washington 4-8 (King 0-2, Egan 3-5, Moss-Kelley 1-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Weber St. 37 (Baskerville 8), E. Washington 36 (Lewis 8). Assists-Weber St. 18 (Baskerville 6), E. Washington 21 (King 8). Total fouls-Weber St. 23, E. Washington 13. A-1,310.

, DataTimes


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