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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wildcats turn back Eastern

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OGDEN, Utah – This part of Big Sky country continues to be inhospitable to the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team.

After Weber State opened a pair of eight-point leads in the second half, a valiant late-game effort by EWU’s Deuce Smith wasn’t enough as the Eagles suffered a 63-58 loss to the Wildcats at the Dee Events Center.

Eastern has now lost four straight regular-season games to the Wildcats in Ogden (five straight when including the 2003 conference tournament title game) and is 2-21 there.

Smith had two steals and five points in the last 2 minutes to give the Eagles a shot at the end.

But the Wildcats made 6 of 6 free throws in the last 28 seconds, and the Eagles’ James Loe missed a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left that could have tied the game.

The Eagles (6-12 overall) fell to 3-2 in the Big Sky while Weber State improved to 3-4 (7-11 overall) after a weekend sweep of previous league leader Portland State and the third-place Eagles.

Smith finished with career highs of 16 points and four steals, and also added five rebounds and a pair of assists. But he was the only Eagle in double figures as Matt Nelson chipped in nine points, six rebounds and a pair of steals

“Deuce was very good tonight,” Eagles head coach Mike Burns said. “I think this was his best game as an Eagle, and it’s good to see him step up in that fashion. We definitely would like to see more than one guy in double figures, so Deuce was huge.”

EWU’s leading scorer, Marc Axton, was held to seven points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

Axton didn’t attempt a shot in the first half, but did finish with a game-high four assists.

“They did a nice job against Marc,” Burns said. “Marc has bought into trying to set screens for his teammates and get people open. We need to reciprocate that for him. There are times that we can get him some looks, and for whatever reason we don’t see him. We will work on that this week and we will get better.”

Weber State finished with a 33-26 rebounding advantage, and outshot the Eagles 48 percent to 42 percent. Eastern had 14 turnovers compared to 16 for the Wildcats.

Coric Riggs scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the first half for Weber.

Weber State 63, EWU 58

Eastern Washington (6-12, 3-2)—Bekkering 1-5 0-0 2, Axton 1-6 5-6 7, Nelson 4-7 1-2 9, Smith 6-12 2-2 16, Pariseau 1-5 2-2 4, Scheffler 1-3 0-0 3, Henkel 0-0 0-0 0, McCulloch 1-1 0-0 2, Loe 0-1 0-0 0, Beitinger 3-6 0-0 7, Butorac 4-7 0- 1 8. Totals 22-53 10-13 58.

Weber State (7-11, 3-4)—Riggs 5-9 4-4 17, Goodell 3-4 0-0 7, Allred 5-8 5-6 15, Silveira 1-6 0-0 3, Cox 1-7 1-4 4, Emadi 1-1 0-0 2, Jenkins 3-5 4-4 10, Stovall 1-1 2-2 5, Barisic 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 20-42 16-22 63.

Halftime—Weber State 30, Eastern Washington 26. 3-point goals—Eastern Washington 4-21 (Smith 2-5, Beitinger 1-3, Scheffler 1-3, Butorac 0-1, Loe 0-1, Bekkering 0-1, Axton 0-3, Pariseau 0-4), Weber State 7-15 (Riggs 3-4, Goodell 1-1, Stovall 1-1, Silveira 1-3, Cox 1-5, Jenkins 0-1). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Eastern Washington 26 (Nelson 6), Weber State 33 (Allred 10). Assists—Eastern Washington 13 (Axton 4), Weber State 11 (Jenkins 3). Technical fouls—Riggs. Total fouls—Eastern Washington 16, Weber State 17. A—7,033.

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