Eastern Washington University eased at least a little of the intense pain lingering from last Saturday’s meltdown in Pullman Thursday night by shredding Linfield College 104-54 in front of a Reese Court crowd of 1,732.
Collin Chiverton scored a game-high 25 points, Cliff Colimon added a 23-point, 11-assist double-double, and three other Eastern players also scored in double figures in a blowout win over the NCAA Division III Wildcats (2-6) that should hasten the healing process for the Eagles (5-3), who were thundered by Washington State 75-49 just five nights earlier.
“It helps a little bit,” said Chiverton, a 6-foot-6 junior wing, who made 9 of 16 field goals, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range. “It feels good, sure, because it’s hard to get something like that Washington State loss out your head until you play again.
“There’s really no other way to combat the stress – or that bad feeling we had – without getting back on the court and getting a ‘W.’”
Along with the offensive production of Chiverton and Colimon, the Eagles got 14 points from Jeffrey Forbes, 12 from backup freshman guard and Gonzaga Prep graduate Parker Kelly and an 11-point, 11-rebound game from Cliff Ederaine.
Eastern coach Jim Hayford liked his team’s effort from tipoff to final buzzer.
“We’ve got to learn a lot bigger lesson from our performance down in Pullman than thinking we’ve solved things that next night out,” Hayford said.
“We want to always say that we played harder every night. We can always control effort, and I thought we did that for all 40 minutes tonight, which showed respect for our opponent and respect for the game.”
The Eagles sprinted to a 10-2 lead and never backed off in topping the 100-point mark.
No one enjoyed the process as much as Colimon, a 6-foot senior point guard, who matched Chiverton’s 9-for-16 shooting performance while establishing a career high in assists.
“He was hurt more than anybody by his performance in Pullman,” Hayford said. “He had a tough night down there, so, hopefully this will put a little fuel back in his tank.”
Colimon said the team that lost so badly to WSU “wasn’t us at all.
“And I wasn’t myself down there, for sure. So, tonight, it was just a matter of coming out, playing hard and getting our fire back, which I thought we did.”
“It’s a stepping stone in the right direction,” Chiverton said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it back on track.”
The Eagles, who play five of their next six games on the road, will be at Cal State Fullerton at 3 p.m. Sunday for a nonconference game.