Griz handle Eagles late
Without Crosgile, EWU falls on road
MISSOULA – Jordan Gregory hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points Thursday night, helping Montana stay unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play with an 81-66 victory over Eastern Washington.
Gregory was 6 of 7 from the field, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc. Spencer Coleman added 15 points off the bench for the Grizzlies (7-4, 3-0), and Mathias Ward scored 12.
Venky Jois scored 16 points to lead the Eagles (3-10, 1-2). Collin Chiverton added 15 and Thomas Reuter 14 off the bench.
The Eagles played their first game without point guard Justin Crosgile, who according to an EWU spokesman has left the team. Crosgile led the Eagles in scoring average and assists through the team’s first 12 games.
Senior Kevin Winford started at point guard, was held scoreless and had two assists. Freshman Daniel Hill played 15 minutes and scored four points with an assist at the point.
The Grizzlies led by as many as eight in the first half, and were up 36-29 at intermission.
But the Eagles opened the second half with an 8-1 run to tie the game at 37-all.
Montana responded with a 7-0 run to take the lead for good, and a 3-pointer by Jordan Gregory gave UM a 47-39 lead. The Grizzlies led by as many as 19 after that.
“For the first 25 minutes of the game we looked like a real solid, cohesive unit playing with a purpose,” EWU head coach Jim Hayford said. “That is something we can really, really build on. Then we had a spurt where we kept fouling and we went cold. That was the difference right there.”
EWU shot 46 percent from the field but was just 4 of 16 on 3-pointers, while Montana went 9 of 21 from long range.
The Eagles continue their road trip Saturday in Bozeman to face Montana State (4-7, 1-2) at 6:05 p.m.
MSU beat Portland State 62-59 on Thursday.