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Eastern Washington University Basketball

Eastern Washington men escape with 91-88 win over Sacramento State to close regular season

Eastern Washington Eagles forward Cedric Coward goes for a shot against the Sacramento State Hornets on Monday in Sacramento, Calfi.  (Courtesy of EWU Athletics)

From staff reports

SACRAMENTO – With the No. 1 seed in the Big Sky Tournament already secured, the Eastern Washington men ended the regular season with a 91-88 victory over Sacramento State on Monday.

After EWU’s Ethan Price went 1-of-2 at the line to break an 88-88 tie with 38 seconds left, Zee Hamoda of Sacramento State missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go. Casey Jones scored on a dunk in transition 11 seconds later to boost EWU’s lead, and Hamoda missed another 3 just before the buzzer.

The Eagles made 35 of 58 shot attempts, their fourth-best shooting night (60.3%) of the season, and their 25 assists were also the second-most of the year. Senior Ellis Magnuson had seven of them, moving him past Bogdan Bliznyuk and into third place on Eastern’s all-time assist list with 416.

EWU junior Dane Erikstrup scored 24 points – his most since Jan. 6 – on 8-of-10 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds, tied with Price for the team-high.

Jones had 17 points, fellow junior Cedric Coward had 15, and redshirt freshman LeJuan Watts had 13 off the bench.

Hamoda led the Hornets with 18 points.

Including the 108-104 overtime victory Saturday over Montana State that clinched the Eagles’ second consecutive regular-season title, the Eagles have scored 199 points in their last two games and have averaged 93 points over their last four heading into the postseason in Boise.

Eastern (21-10, 15-3 Big Sky) will play at 4:30 p.m. Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s game between ninth-seeded Idaho or 10th-seeded Sacramento State . The team that advances will play in the semifinals Tuesday.