February 3, 2011 in Sports

EWU men lose at Northern Colorado

Eric Bellamy photo

Northern Colorado’s Emmanuel Addo (0) and Tate Unruh (15) battle with Eastern Washington’s Rashano McRae (12) for the ball.
(Full-size photo)

GREELEY, Colo. — Any chance Eastern Washington University had of ending its 17-game road losing streak was tabled for at least a couple of days Thursday night when Big Sky Conference rival Northern Colorado rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to shed off the Eagles 63-53 at Butler-Pavilion Pavilion in Greeley, Colo.

UNC’s senior guard Devon Beitzel made 14 of 17 free throws and finished with a game-high 27 points as the Bears (12-9 overall, 8-2 in the Big Sky) reeled in EWU (7-15, 4-6) and moved into a first-place tie in the conference standings with Montana (16-6, 8-2), which lost at Weber State 61-41 on Thursday.

Eastern, which got 17 points from junior guard Cliff Colimon and 15 from sophomore guard Kevin Winford, carved out a 28-20 halftime lead, but was outscored 43-25 after intermission.

UNC ended up converting 28 of 33 free throws to EWU’s 4-of-7, a dramatic difference that prompted Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine to call the officiating “brutal.”

“Thirty-three-seven on the free-throw line – what a joke,” Earlywine said in a postgame radio interview of the free-throw discrepancy. “What a way to ruin a really good basketball game.”

Eastern made five more field goals than the Bears, but converted on only nine of 31 attempts from 3-point range and lost the rebounding battle 30-23.

The Eagles, who shot only 35.7 percent (20-56) from the field, limited UNC to just 34.9 percent (15-43) shooting, but couldn’t come up with an key stops down the stretch as Beitzel scored 19 of his points after intermission .

Eastern gets another chance to snap is lengthy road losing streak on Saturday, when it faces Idaho State in another BSC showdown at 6:05 p.m.

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