OGDEN, Utah – Kim Aiken Jr. scored 22 points, including two late key free throws, and Eastern Washington held off Weber State 79-77 in Saturday’s Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
Ellis Magnuson added 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Eagles (8-4), who led 41-32 at halftime and by as many as 16 in the second half. The Wildcats fought back, cutting EWU’s lead to 77-75 with 22 seconds left after Cody John’s 3-pointer capped a 9-0 run.
Aiken’s free throws put the Eagles up 79-75. He missed another free throw with 12 seconds to go before Judah Jordan’s layup made it a two-point game. Weber State got the rebound after another free-throw miss by Aiken with 2 seconds left, but the Wildcats didn’t get a final shot.
“We have some players who have played a lot of games, so we have great leaders out there,” Eastern coach Shantay Legans said in a team release. “They’ve been in these moments and we rely on those guys. Kim had a late turnover, but he went and made two free throws to win the game basically. That’s huge for us and what we’ve been pushing towards, and we’re excited for him. But it has been tough here.”
Aiken grabbed seven rebounds and Mason Peatling had 12 points and eight boards for the Eagles, who made 10 of 26 3-pointers (38%) to the Wildcats’ 5 of 19 (26%).
Jerrick Harding scored 26 points for Weber State (4-8), which made 31 of 62 field-goal attempts (50%) to the Eagles’ 28 of 64 (38%). Michal Kozak added 11 points with 10 rebounds, John scored 15 points and Tim Fuller had 10.
On Monday, Eastern Washington plays at Idaho State and Weber State hosts Idaho.
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