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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eagles nearing important tipoff against Sac State

We're still a few hours away from tipoff at Reese Court, where Eastern will be entertaining Sac State tonight in a matchup featuring the bottom two teams in the Big Sky Conference standings.

Eastern (9-13 overall, 3-7) is in eighth place, followed by the last-place Hornets (2-20, 1-8), who present some major concerns for Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine -- even though his team beat Sac by double digits on the road earlier this winter.

I've included more details below, along with several links to other stories about Eastern basketball, so read on  

Earlywine, when reached by phone earlier this week, warned Eastern fans about reading anything into the Eagles' 87-74 win over the Hornets in Sacramento, Calif., back on Jan. 4.

"While we won by double figures at Sacramento, we're both different teams now," he explained. "Sacramento State is playing a lot better than they were at that time, as evidenced by them beating Idaho State and having Northen Colorado on the ropes big time.

"Things change, and I told our guys yesterday to look at the different in just 10 days between how we played against Montana at home and how we played against them on the road. We were a dramatically different team in just 10 days, so think how different Sac State is going to be a month later."

In detailing the differences he's seen in Sac State on film, Earlywine noted the Hornets have changed a lot of what they're trying to do offensively from earlier in the year.

"And (senior guard) Loren Leath is as good a scorer as anyone in our league," Earlywine added. "He scares me the way Anthony Johnson from Montana scares me and probable the way Benny (Valentine) scares other people in our league when they play us.

"He has the capability of getting 35, or more. And that, along with the development of their two big guys (Justin) Eller and (Randy) Adams are the two things that jump out at me right away when looking at video of them."

You can read more details on tonight's game here, on EWU's website, and here, on Sac State's website.  In addition, I've included this link to a story on the Eagles' Benny Valentine being named to the ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District VIII team that was released on Thursday, and this link to a question-and-answer session Eastern's sports information department conducted with junior center Brandon Moore.

I've also supplied this link to the game notes supplied Sac State's sports information staff. 




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