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Eastern Washington University Basketball
Sports >  EWU basketball

Eastern Washington’s balance too much for defensive-minded Montana State

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 11, 2021

Eastern Washington forward Tanner Groves (35) drives to the basket against Montana State on Feb. 11, 2021, in Bozeman, Montana.  (Courtesy of Garrett Becker/Montana State Athletics)
Eastern Washington forward Tanner Groves (35) drives to the basket against Montana State on Feb. 11, 2021, in Bozeman, Montana. (Courtesy of Garrett Becker/Montana State Athletics)

Eastern Washington didn’t need one of the Big Sky Conference’s most dynamic scorers to nearly hit the century mark.

Even against the league’s top statistical defensive team, Montana State, the Eagles scored in bunches and from everywhere on the floor.

EWU exhibited its impressive balance Thursday, taking down the resurgent Bobcats 93-77 at Worthington Arena in Bozeman, the Big Sky-leading Eagles’ sixth straight win.

The Eagles, playing without two-time All-Big Sky Conference guard Jacob Davison (flu-like symptoms), shot 52% from the field and connected on a school-record 27 of 28 free-throw attempts.

Junior forward Tanner Groves scored a game-high 26 points with 11 rebounds, Mike Meadows scored 21 and Kim Aiken Jr. added 20 points and eight rebounds for the EWU (9-6, 8-2 Big Sky).

“We did a great job of moving the ball around tonight,” EWU coach Shantay Legans said.

Montana State (9-6, 6-3), which entered surrendering a conference-best 70 points a game, couldn’t contain the surging Eagles’ balance, an effort boosted by Meadows.

Meadows, who recently became one of EWU’s primary players after limited minutes, had his fourth straight double-digit scoring game.

The sophomore guard matched his career high (17 points) by halftime, his sixth straight start after supplanting Davison in the starting lineup.

“I was taking what they gave me and it worked out tonight,” Meadows said.

So were most of the Eagles, who shot 10 for 21 from 3-point range.

Tyler Robertson (10 points, four assists) was also steady for EWU, which made it a point to slow down Bobcats point guard Xavier Bishop, who was held to 9 points, half his average .

EWU’s perimeter defense contributed to the Bobcats’ 9-for-25 mark from 3-point range.

Montana State, which faces the Eagles again on Saturday, is on a three-game losing streak.

“It’s going to be a dogfight on Saturday,” Legans said.

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