February 4, 2011 in Sports

EWU men lose 18th consecutive road game after wilting in second half

 

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 basketball rival Northern Colorado rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to shed off the Eagles 63-53 at Butler-Hancock Pavilion.

UNC 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 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 got 17 points from junior guard Cliff Colimon and 15 from sophomore guard Kevin Winford. EWU 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 the Eagles converted on only 9 of 31 attempts from 3-point range and lost the rebounding battle 30-23.

The Eagles, who shot 35.7 percent (20 for 56) from the field, limited UNC to 34.9 percent shooting (15 for 43). But EWU 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 road losing streak on Saturday, when it faces Idaho State at 6:05 p.m.

 Eastern Washington (7-15, 4-6)—Griffin 2-4 0-2 4, Ederaine 3-4 2-2 8, Dean 1-8 0-0 3, Colimon 6-12 0-0 17, Winford 5-16 2-3 15, Brown 1-3 0-0 2, McRae 1-1 0-0 2, Johnson 0-4 0-0 0, Forbes 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 20-56 4-7 53.

Northern Colorado (12-9, 8-2)—Addo 3-5 2-3 8, Montgomery 1-3 4-4 6, Lloyd 1-6 0-0 3, Unruh 0-1 0-0 0, Beitzel 5-12 14-17 27, Garnica 2-4 3-3 7, Kaba 2-8 1-2 6, Kingman 1-3 4-4 6, Proctor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-43 28-33 63.

Halftime—E. Washington 28-20. 3-Point Goals—E. Washington 9-31 (Colimon 5-11, Winford 3-12, Dean 1-4, Johnson 0-2, Forbes 0-2), N. Colorado 5-20 (Beitzel 3-8, Kaba 1-4, Lloyd 1-4, Garnica 0-2, Kingman 0-2). Fouled Out—Ederaine, Winford. Rebounds—E. Washington 27 (Griffin 5), N. Colorado 38 (Montgomery 6). Assists—E. Washington 12 (Forbes 6), N. Colorado 10 (Garnica 5). Total Fouls—E. Washington 26, N. Colorado 14. A—1,556.


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