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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Hayford leads EWU basketball into season opener with Linfield

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

After a slow start, the schedule picks up in a hurry for Eastern Washington basketball.

It’s been 12 days since the Eagles’ 80-69 exhibition win over Saint Martin’s. Next up is a Friday matinee at Reese Court against Linfield, followed by big road tests next week at Northwestern on Monday and Texas on Thursday.

“We are excited to start the season on our home court,” said EWU coach Jim Hayford, whose team returns to Reese Court on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 for a four-team subregional in the Legends Classic presented by the Gazelle Group.

Friday’s game tips off at noon against a Linfield team that went 5-10 last year in the Northwest Conference, a Division III league that includes Whitworth.

The Wildcats are coming off an 87-62 loss at Portland State. Guards Kyle Maloof and Vince Romeo averaged 12.2 and 10.9 points per game a year ago, respectively, and 6-foot-7 Mason Rodby averaged 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds.

The game is free, but seats for season ticket holders will be reserved and available for those patrons via their tickets.

The game is serving also as a Veterans Day/Military Appreciation tribute and fundraiser for the Veterans Forum in Spokane.

Northwestern finished with an overall record of 20-12 and 8-10 in the Big 10, losing to Michigan in the first round of the Big 10 tournament.

Texas (20-13 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12) lost to Baylor in the first round of the Big 12 tournament and went on as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. losing to Northern Iowa in the first round.

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