SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eastern Washington went scoreless for nearly 5 minutes in the second half, costing the Eagles the lead and, eventually, the game in a 61-55 Big Sky Conference men’s basketball loss to Sacramento State on Thursday night.
Sacramento State (11-10, 6-7) led for most of the game, but Eastern Washington pulled ahead midway through the second half and led 48-44 after Thomas Reuter’s 3-pointer with 8:43 to play.
Sacramento State scored the next 10 points, capped by Mikh McKinney’s two free throws with 4:15 left, to take the lead for good.
The Hornets led by as many as eight points in the first half before the Eagles closed the gap to 29-27 at halftime.
Dylan Garrity scored 15 points, John Dickson added 13 for Sacramento State, which came into the game with three one-point losses in conference play.
EWU played their second straight game without freshman Venky Jois, out with an ankle sprain. He has nine double-doubles.
Senior Collin Chiverton came off the bench and made 5 of 6 shots in finishing with 12 points to lead Eastern. Senior Kevin Winford scored 11 and freshman Reuter had nine, with both finishing with five assists for EWU.
The Eagles made 42 percent of their shots compared to 40 percent for the Hornets, and EWU sank 10 of 28 3-point tries. There was a big difference at the free-throw line where Sac State was 20 of 27 to Eastern’s 3-of-8 effort.
“Our effort was good, our execution was good and our defense was good,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “We just needed to make a few more shots, and then we needed to get to the foul line more and make them. We showed pride and we showed class in a hostile environment.”