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Sports >  EWU basketball

Eastern Washington guard Angelo Allegri named Big Sky Player of the Week

Jan. 31, 2023 Updated Tue., Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:37 p.m.

Eastern Washington’s Angelo Allegri looks to shoot against North Dakota State’s Damari Wheeler-Thomas on Dec. 3 in Cheney.  (James Snook/For The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington’s Angelo Allegri looks to shoot against North Dakota State’s Damari Wheeler-Thomas on Dec. 3 in Cheney. (James Snook/For The Spokesman-Review) Buy this photo
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

For the first time in his 1½ years at Eastern Washington, Angelo Allegri was named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday.

He is the third Eagles men’s basketball player to earn the honor this season. Sophomores Steele Venters (Week 4) and Cedric Coward (Week 7) are the others.

Allegri, a fifth-year senior who transferred to Eastern before last season, has been a leader all year for the conference-leading Eagles, who improved to 16-7 overall and 10-0 in Big Sky games after wins last week over Weber State (75-71) on Saturday and Idaho State (81-68) on Thursday.

The victories extended Eastern’s winning streak to 12 games, the program’s longest since it moved up to Division I in 1983.

The Eagles’ 14-game winning streak at Reese Court is also the best in the program’s D-I history.

Allegri led the Eagles in scoring in both home games last week, scoring 17 points against Idaho State and a career-high 28 against Weber State. He shot a combined 17 of 22 from the field and made 8 of 12 3-point attempts while averaging six rebounds and 2.5 assists.

“It just shows how much work he puts in,” EWU sophomore Ethan Price said of Allegri. “Sometimes you’re going to have games when your percentages are down, and you’ll have other games where it’s like, ‘Whoa, find the ball and give it to ‘Gelo.’ ”

Allegri has handled the ball more this season and that is reflected in his increased assist and turnover numbers, 78 and 61, respectively.

He leads the Eagles in both categories.

But he also has been as consistent a 3-point threat as Venters, making 48 of 135 (Venters has made 48 of 139). Venters led the conference in 3-point shooting last season (43.5%), but through 10 conference games this year Allegri leads the Big Sky, having made 25 of 56 (44.6%) .

“He’s coming off ball screens and pushing the ball in transition and kind of playing (positions) 1 through 4 for us at times, depending on where the mismatch is,” said EWU coach David Riley, who recruited Allegri to come to Eastern. “I think he’s done a good job of playing under control and using his eyes better this year.”

Allegri, who grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, played his first three seasons at UNC Greensboro, where his highest single-game scoring total was 19 points. In his last year there, in 2020-21, the Spartans won the Southern Conference to reach the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Florida State 64-54 in their opener.

Eastern Washington, which has a two-game lead over second-place Montana State in the Big Sky standings, plays at Sacramento State (12-10, 5-4) at 7 p.m. Thursday and at Portland State (9-13, 3-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday. Both games will be streamed on ESPN-plus.

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