SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Austin McBroom scored 20 and Venky Jois added 16 with seven rebounds and four assists to help the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team beat Pacific 70-63 Saturday night at the Sacramento State Basketball Invitational.
Jois made 7 of 12 field goals.
Felix Von Hofe added 12 points and Bogdan Bliznyuk finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for Eastern Washington (3-2).
Jois had a dunk and Sir Washington came up with a steal on the other end before hitting two free throws to put the Eagles up 66-58 with 27 seconds left.
David Taylor’s 3-pointer just four seconds later cut Pacific’s deficit to five, but McBroom hit 4 of 4 free throws from there to seal it.
Eastern Washington held Pacific without a field goal for 5:27 late in the game. Eastern used its late 10-3 run to turn a 49-all tie into a seven-point advantage with 1:59 to play.
Nine free throws in the final 1:48 clinched the third win in five games this season for EWU. There were six ties and eight lead changes in the second half before Eastern pulled away.
“I credit our team’s toughness today,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “It’s great starting this road trip with a win and that will build toughness. We got off to a good start and now we’ll need to come back tough again tomorrow.
“As a coach that’s what you want to see – you want to see your team get better every night out and we did that,” Hayford added. “We’ll take it. This is a good day when you play a West Coast Conference team and can get a win. It’s good for our conference and good for our program.”
Ray Bowles led Pacific (1-4) with 13 points. Maleke Haynes and T.J. Wallace scored 11 apiece.
Eastern Washington (3-2) made a season-high 23 of 30 free throws.
The game was part of the post-Thanksgiving Sacramento State Basketball Invitational, with the Eagles also playing Sunday afternoon against South Dakota, a 96-90 winner over host Sac State in Saturday’s other game.
The Eagles lost 58-52 at Seattle on Nov. 23 in its last game, just five days after EWU won at home against the Redhawks by a 76-70 score. Eastern played its first three games in a six-day stretch to open the year.
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