Eastern Washington pulls away from Sacramento State in second half to extend win streak to 13 games
Feb. 2, 2023 Updated Thu., Feb. 2, 2023 at 10:07 p.m.
From staff reports
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After squandering a 19-point lead early, the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team settled itself after halftime and beat Sacramento State 82-63 on Thursday night at Colberg Court.
Eastern’s winning streak reached 13 games, the Eagles’ longest as a Division I program. It is also the longest current Division I winning streak after Florida Atlantic lost earlier Thursday, ending its run of victories at 20 games.
The Eagles improved to 17-7 overall and remained perfect in Big Sky play (11-0) and beat the Hornets (12-11, 5-5) for the second time this year. Senior Angelo Allegri and sophomore Ethan Price each made 7-of-10 shots from the field and finished with 17 points apiece to lead the Eagles .
Eastern, which leads the Big Sky in field-goal shooting, made a season-high 64.6% of its shots (31 of 48). The Eagles came out hot, making seven of their first 10 shots as they built a 28-9 lead. But Sacramento State answered with a 25-4 run – which included an Eagles scoring drought of nearly 7 minutes – and led 35-34 at half.
Shortly after halftime, though, the Eagles reasserted control with a 10-0 run, and the Hornets trailed by double digits most of the second half.
“This is the third or fourth halftime in a row where the guys have been self-diagnosing,” EWU coach David Riley said in a postgame radio interview. “The guys come together, they talk about what they need to fix, they take accountability individually … it’s just a joy to coach these guys.”
For the first time during the winning streak and for just the fifth time overall this season, the Eagles were outrebounded 37-20. But Eastern also committed a season-low seven turnovers, outscored SSU by 20 points in the paint and held the Hornets to 38% shooting.
“It’s a team that just figures out how to win,” Riley said. “… (The Hornets) got real hot in that first half, and I thought we did a better job in the second half of flying around and making sure our rotations were on point. Our guys did a good job adjusting.”
Saddled with fouls, EWU’s Steele Venters made 4-of-8 shots from the floor and finished with 10 points, his fewest in 12 games. EWU’s Casey Jones and Tyreese Davis each had 12 points, and Cedric Coward scored eight off the bench.
Callum McRae led the Hornets with 16 points, and Zach Chappell added 13.
Eastern (17-7) plays at Portland State (10-13, 4-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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