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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eagles increase home games

Head coach Jim Hayford and the Eagles will play at Wyoming on Wednesday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

For the first time in several years, Eastern Washington basketball fans will get to see their team play early and often at Reese Court.

“If Eastern fans want to enjoy November and December home basketball, this is the time,” said Eagles coach Jim Hayford, whose team will play 16 home games this year.

Long accustomed to getting only three nonconference home games, Eagles fans will get six this season, starting with an exhibition against Saint Martin’s on Oct. 30. Less than two weeks later, they’ll see Eastern face Division III Linfield, on Nov. 11.

“We try to schedule pretty fearlessly,” said Hayford, whose sixth year in EWU begins with a tour of Australia that starts on Aug. 14.

Eastern, 18-16 last year, will take part in the Legends Classic, facing Northwestern on Nov. 14 and Texas on Nov. 17, both on the road.

The Eagles will come home for a subregional round of the Legends Classic, facing Bryant on Nov. 21 and Seattle or Louisiana Monroe on Nov. 22.

Eastern hosts the EWU Classic against Denver on Nov. 26 and West Coast Conference member San Francisco on Nov. 27.

San Francisco lost in the first round of the WCC tournament last season to Pepperdine, which fell to Eastern 79-72 in the first round of the CBI. The Eagles beat the Dons for the second-straight year in San Francisco last season, winning 81-77.

The Eagles return home for games against Great Falls on Dec. 8 and Morehead State on Dec. 13. Morehead State had a successful postseason in 2015-16, making it to the finals of the CBI before losing to Nevada in three games. Nevada ended EWU’s season last year with an 85-70 victory in Reno in the quarterfinals of the CBI.

The Eagles will begin Big Sky play on Dec. 30 with a visit to Idaho, followed by the team’s league home opener against Montana State on Jan. 5.