Like the Bloomsday obsessives who like to run the course twice, Tyler Harvey reached one finish line Monday night and then started on another lap.
Not two minutes after tipoff, Eastern Washington’s junior marksman lofted in the 3-pointer that gave him 184 for his career and a share of the school record.
And by the end of the Eagles’ 87-81 victory over Lewis-Clark State on Reese Court, he had seven more toward his next 184 – or however many he has in him.
“My teammates came into the locker room (after the game) and told me,” Harvey said of passing Marc Axton on EWU’s 3-point list. “I didn’t know what they were talking about at first.”
Turned out the Eagles needed every one of Harvey’s long-distance calls – the NAIA Warriors giving them the same kind of fight Eastern has been throwing at bigger fish on the road.
The blowout portion of the evening ended when Parker Kelly’s 3-pointer put Eastern up 66-46 with 10:24 to play. Eight minutes later, the Warriors had slashed that margin down to 78-75 after three consecutive 3s by Brady Bagby and Rich Tesmer.
“I sure wouldn’t want to be a team in their league,” said EWU coach Jim Hayford.
The 13-3 Warriors will be a handful for the Frontier Conference. They shot 55 percent in the second half and outrebounded Eastern 35-31 – including 13 offensive boards. Bagby, a West Valley and Community Colleges of Spokane grad, fired in 17 of his 19 points after halftime, and Newport’s Jake Wiley had a smooth 19 points and eight rebounds, affirmation of why Montana signed him out of high school.
But the Eagles were as good in salvage mode as they were building up that big lead.
Freshman Bogdan Bliznyuk made both ends of a 1-and-1 to stop the bleeding, then had a game-changing block-and-recovery on Tesmer on the other end.
Harvey missed a jumper, but Venky Jois battled through a crowd for the tip-in – and eventually Harvey settled the issue with one more 3 and the last of his season-high 34 points.
“He showed again what he was showing people on the road – that he’s a very special player,” Hayford said.
That road trip – to Washington, Sam Houston and Cal – had produced a three-game losing streak, so the Eagles were happy to snap that. There was another milestone – Jois became the 18th Eagle to top 1,000 points with his 13 this night – and Drew Brandon’s 11 assists gave him double figures in that stat for the sixth time.
And their 9-4 record is Eastern’s best non-conference mark as an NCAA Division I member. Now there’s a much-needed nine-day break before they open Big Sky Conference play at home against defending champion Weber State on New Year’s Day.
“We’re a team that needs to get a whole lot better – and we need to get healthier,” Hayford said. “Our two seniors are in bad physical condition and I think it’s affecting their performance.”
That would be Brandon (back) and Kelly (foot), who were a combined 1 of 12 shooting. Sophomore sub Felix Von Hofe (back) didn’t suit up, and Ognjen Miljkovic (shoulder) managed just 15 minutes, although he scored 11 points.
Getting 21 points off the bench, then, was a bonanza, given that the Eagles had just 22 over the past three games. Bliznyuk was the big spark – making all five of his shots for 13 points.
“Our freshmen, Bogdan and Sir (Washington), are playing well,” Hayford said.
EWU 87, Lewis-Clark St. 81
Lewis-Clark State (13-3) — Diouf 5-13 0-0 10, Wiley 9-15 1-1 19, T. Thomas 0-3 0-0 0, Bagby 5-8 6-7 19, Emerson 4-7 0-0 9, Tesmer 2-5 0-0 5, Humphrie 1-5 0-0 3, Kauffman 3-7 0-0 8, Van Diest 0-0 0-0 0, J. Thomas 1-2 6-8 8. Totals 30-65 13-16 81.
Eastern Washington (9-4) — Miljkovic 5-8 0-1 11, Jois 6-10 1-2 13, Harvey 11-16 4-5 34, Kelly 1-6 3-3 6, Brandon 1-6 0-1 2, Washington 0-3 2-2 2, Jorg 1-2 0-0 2, Reid 2-3 0-2 4, Bliznyuk 5-5 3-3 13, Moon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-59 13-19 87.
Halftime—E. Washington 43-30. 3-Point Goals—Lewis-Clark St. 8-18 (Bagby 3-5, Kauffman 2-5, Tesmer 1-1, Emerson 1-2, Humphrie 1-4, T. Thomas 0-1), E. Washington 10-21 (Harvey 8-10, Miljkovic 1-3, Kelly 1-5, Washington 0-1, Brandon 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Lewis-Clark St. 35 (Wiley 8), E. Washington 31 (Jois 7). Assists—Lewis-Clark St. 17 (Wiley 5), E. Washington 19 (Brandon 11). Total Fouls—Lewis-Clark St. 15, E. Washington 17. Technical—Diouf. A—1,367.
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