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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chris Sarbaugh leads Idaho past EWU

By Sean Kramer Correspondent

MOSCOW – Chris Sarbaugh’s admiration of the Eastern Washington program goes back to his high school days at Gonzaga Prep, when Eagles head man Jim Hayford tried to recruit the guard to Cheney.

But beating the Eagles? That’s what Sarbaugh likes the most.

The senior Idaho guard led all players with four assists and scored 12 points as Idaho (18-11, 10-6 Big Sky Conference) shot its way past the Eagles 66-62 in front of 1,500 loud fans at Memorial Gym.

“It was fun beating them. I liked it,” Sarbaugh. “It’s pretty cool. I was good with that.”

Eastern Washington (16-12, 10-6) has made the new conference rivalry between the Inland Northwest schools somewhat one-sided with three straight wins over the Vandals since they’ve rejoined the Big Sky.

“It’s really healthy for Eastern. They’re our conference rival,” Hayford said. “I think we earned some respect last year … “They’ve got an in-state rival, they’ve got a neighborhood rival and now they’ve got a conference rival.”

The rivalry had its appropriate feel late in the second half when the intimate environment of Memorial Gym grew louder and louder as the Vandals creeped closer to the lead.

Perrion Callandret drained a 3-pointer to extend Idaho’s lead to 62-58 with 3:15 left in the game. Victor Sanders kicked his legs out and drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with 1:32 left after the Eagles tied it back up at 62.

The crowd was near deafening when Callandret rebounded a Venky Jois miss at the rim with 32 seconds remaining with Idaho leading 65-62.

Idaho held Eastern Washington to 37.5 percent shooting in the second half, preventing the Eagles from hitting a 3-point shot in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The defensive performance was leagues better than Idaho’s Jan. 9 trip to Cheney, a 74-60 loss.

“That’s an understatement,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “… When you hold a team as good as Eastern to 23 percent from the 3-point line and 37 percent in the second half, that’s a great defensive effort. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”

Sanders played in his second game back from a broken right hand suffered in Bozeman on Jan. 22. The sophomore poured in 12 second-half points, sinking three treys to lead Idaho’s triumph.

The win moves Idaho into a tie for third place with Eastern Washington, significantly increasing the odds that Idaho gets a first-round bye in the Big Sky tournament.

“We’re not satisfied, we’re not happy, we’re on a mission. We’re on a mission to get to the pinnacle of what we’re supposed to do,” Sanders said. “We want to win a Big Sky championship and we have to take it one game at a time and this is just a stepping stone to get there.”

Idaho 66, Eastern Washington 62

Eastern Washington (16-12)—Harrell 3-8 3-5 10, McBroom 4-15 0-0 11, Bliznyuk 4-7 2-2 12, Von Hofe 3-8 1-2 10, Jois 7-10 2-2 16, Washington 1-2 1-1 3, Ferris 0-0 0-0 0, Benzel 0-1 0-0 0, Hunt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 9-12 62.

Idaho (18-11)—Sarbaugh 6-10 0-0 12, Sanders 5-9 3-3 16, C. Sherwood 0-4 0-0 0, Mkrtychyan 5-8 0-0 10, N. Sherwood 5-8 0-1 11, Blair 1-2 0-0 2, Callandret 2-8 1-2 7, Ingram 2-3 0-0 4, George 0-1 0-0 0, Scott 0-1 4-6 4. Totals 26-54 8-12 66.

Halftime—E. Washington 34-30. 3-Point Goals—E. Washington 9-29 (Von Hofe 3-8, McBroom 3-11, Bliznyuk 2-3, Harrell 1-5, Benzel 0-1, Washington 0-1), Idaho 6-16 (Sanders 3-5, Callandret 2-5, N. Sherwood 1-2, C. Sherwood 0-4). Fouled Out—Harrell. Rebounds—E. Washington 26 (Bliznyuk 8), Idaho 35 (Mkrtychyan, Sarbaugh 6). Assists—E. Washington 10 (McBroom 3), Idaho 14 (Sarbaugh 4). Total Fouls—E. Washington 16, Idaho 17. A—1,500.

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