If Eastern Washington learned anything from last week’s split with up-and-coming Southern Utah (10-2, 5-1 Big Sky) in Cheney, it’s that weekend sweeps may be hard to come by.
Playing the same team twice in less than a 72-hour span – courtesy of the conference’s coronavirus-adjusted scheduling – adds a different degree of difficulty.
The preseason Big Sky favorite Eagles (3-4, 2-1) now go on the road to face one of the conference’s better programs at Northern Colorado (7-6, 4-4) on Thursday and Saturday.
Northern Colorado, picked third in the preseason Big Sky polls, swept Idaho last week and previously split with Montana and Idaho State. The Bears were also swept at home by Montana State.
First-year head coach Steve Smiley has the defensive-minded Bears giving up just 66 points a game.
Fourth-year EWU head coach Shantay Legans’ squad averages 73 points. The high-scoring Eagles average 83 points against Big Sky foes.
All-Big Sky guard Bodie Hume (15.7 points, 7.5 rebounds per game) leads Northern Colorado, which added a talented offseason Colorado transfer in Daylen Kountz (12 ppg).
EWU, which has won of four of its past six games against the Bears, is paced by forward Tanner Groves (16.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg), and guards Jacob Davison (14.6 ppg), Kim Aiken Jr. (11.8 ppg, 8 rpg) and Tyler Robertson (11.6 ppg).
Northern Colorado, which has the Big Sky’s top defensive 3-point percentage (28.1), is facing an EWU team that connected on 19 3-pointers in a 99-94 loss to SUU last week.
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