SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Collin Chiverton scored 21 points and made six 3-point shots as Eastern Washington defeated Sacramento State 65-60 on Thursday night.
Cliff Colimon added 17 points – including 11 in the final 5 minutes – and Cliff Ederaine had 10 points for the Eagles (9-8, 3-2 Big Sky).
“I’m just really proud that our players found a way to win,” said EWU head coach Jim Hayford. “They said in the locker room, ‘we used to find a way to lose – now we found a way to win.’ That’s why I’m happy – you are happy when your players put so much work into it and can have the joy of a win.”
Jackson Carbajal scored 17 points and John Dickson 11 for the Hornets (5-10, 0-4), who lost their fifth straight game.
Heath Hoffman’s jumper got Sacramento State within 59-58 with a minute remaining, but Eastern Washington bled the clock down to 33 seconds left before Colimon scored on a layup. Hoffman missed a 3-point attempt at the other end, and the Eagles wrapped up the game at the free-throw line.
Chiverton shot 7 of 10 from the floor, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range to finish with his seventh 20-point outing in 17 games this season. His Eagles teammates combined to shoot just 26.8 percent (11 of 41).
“For us to win the game and shoot only 35 percent must show our defense is pretty solid and we’re taking care of the ball,” Hayford said.
With the win, EWU moved into sole possession of third place in the conference standings behind Montana (4-0) and Weber State (5-0), which square off Saturday in Ogden, Utah.
Colimon scored 10 of his points in a pair of five-point spurts, but he struggled otherwise on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. Colimon, who had averaged 22.0 points in EWU’s four league games, made 8 of 9 free throws and also had a career-high seven rebounds and five assists.
“I think our team has developed toughness,” Hayford said. “It showed in Colimon – it was a hard night, but he made the big plays down the stretch. I think that shows toughness.”
Eastern plays at Northern Colorado on Saturday.