North Dakota defeats Eastern 78-74

By Amye Ellsworth, Senior Reporter


Photo by: Aaron MalmoeTyler Harvey drives to the basket against North Dakota's Troy Huff. Harvey led the team with 21 points off 9-of-17 from the floor. He also led the team with eight assists.
Photo by: Aaron Malmoe
Tyler Harvey drives to the basket against North Dakota’s Troy Huff. Harvey led the team with 21 points off 9-of-17 from the floor. He also led the team with eight assists.


The Eagles desperately needed a win against the University of North Dakota to increase their chances for a place in the Big Sky Tournament, but 16 turnovers and a career-high 34 points by North Dakota’s Troy Huff caused Eastern to lose 78-74.

It was senior night at Reese Court, and head coach Jim Hayford started all four of his seniors: Jeffrey Forbes, Collin Chiverton, Jordan Hickert and Kevin Winford. Winford is still recovering from compartment syndrome and was immediately replaced by freshman Tyler Harvey. Forbes started his 119th career game, a record for Eastern.

Hayford highlighted Harvey’s developing skills at taking over the point guard position for Winford. Harvey ended the game with 21 points and eight assists, leading the team in both categories.

“We’re obviously very excited about him and the future that he has,” Hayford said.

Harvey commented on his mentality going into each game. “Every game I try to learn something new at the point,” he said.

Sophomore Martin Seiferth also garnered Hayford’s attention in terms of his ability to build on his skills. Seiferth ended the game with his third double-double of the season. He had 14 points and 14 rebounds against North Dakota.

Seiferth was hesitant to give himself praise, however.

“Obviously, I’m proud of myself, but I just really wanted to get into the postseason with the team, so I can’t really celebrate myself,” he said.

Despite these efforts by Harvey and Seiferth, the Eagles struggled to contain junior guard Troy Huff. Huff averages 19 points per game for North Dakota, but he had already scored 18 points within the first eight minutes of the game.

The Eagles anticipated that Huff would be a strong force on the court, and they started the first half in a zone defense in hopes of shutting him down. Their zone had the opposite effect, however, and Huff scored two 3-pointers off of it.

“In the second half, we put senior Jeff Forbes on him. He did a great job of shadowing him,” Hayford said. “I give Jeff Forbes credit for a great defensive job on him in the second half.”

Forbes held Huff to 10 points in the second half, three of which were not until the last 10 seconds of the game.

In fact, the Eagles started the second half with great intensity and went on a 5-0 run against North Dakota. They got as close as one point away from North Dakota with mere minutes left in the game.

When Forbes missed an open 3-pointer in the last 10 seconds of the game, the Eagles had sealed their fate.

“We executed [and] got a great shot. If I could get that shot for [Forbes] from the corner for a wide-open [3-pointer], I’d do it 100 times,” Hayford said. “Collin made a great pass to him, and that shot just didn’t go down.”

Despite suffering this tough loss, Hayford looked ahead to the future and found positives for his team.

“On a positive side, if you look at any of these nights, probably 60-80 percent of our playing time is underclassmen. So I look at in the bigger picture,” he said.

The Eagles will play the final two games of their regular season on the road against Idaho State and Weber State.