Eastern Washington has a tough task Saturday at conference-leading Weber State, and statistics say it will be even tougher if the Eagles start fouling – especially if the targets are guards Damian Lillard and Scott Bamforth.
The Eagles rank 336th in the NCAA – that’s third from the bottom – in fouls committed. Last month in Cheney, they put Lillard, the national scoring leader, on the line 13 times, and he missed just once in scoring 30 points.
That’s no surprise since Lillard shoots 86.7 percent from the line – second in the conference.
Bamforth would be an even worse choice – he leads the Big Sky at 91.5 percent.
Eastern hit three more field goals in that game yet lost 76-69.
Eastern can hang its hat on its outstanding turnover margin – plus-4.0 per game, which ranks 14th in the nation.
By the numbers
Saint Mary’s has put up some impressive individual and team numbers. The Gaels rank in the top 72 (out of 338 Division I schools) in 14 of 18 statistical categories tracked by the NCAA.
In WCC stats, the Gaels have five players leading at least one category: Matthew Dellavedova, No. 1 in minutes played (36.8), assists (6.4) and assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.3), No. 3 in scoring (15.5); Rob Jones, No. 1 in rebounding (10.7), offensive rebounds (3.1) and defensive rebounds (7.6), No. 3 in minutes (33.6) and No. 5 in scoring (14.8); Brad Waldow, No. 1 in field-goal percentage (65.5); Stephen Holt, No. 1 in steals (2.0), No. 2 in assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.0), No. 6 in assists (3.5); Jorden Page, No. 1 in free-throw percentage (87.5).
Spangler gets OK
Gonzaga freshman forward Ryan Spangler has been cleared to participate in practices and games, according to a GU release. He missed three weeks after having surgery to repair a broken left pinkie.
UI horses around
With his team grinding through three games in a five-day span – and five games in two weeks – Idaho coach Don Verlin has fallen back on a strategy from a different sport altogether to keep his players’ legs fresh.
“It’s at the point in the season, it’s the old horse-racing theory – it’s feed ’em, rest ’em, run ’em,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of time to practice ’em. We’ve just got to get them mentally ready to go.”
Verlin said he originally tried to have Tuesday’s game with Seattle University played next week, when the Vandals have just one game, but the different date didn’t work with the Redhawks’ schedule.