Eagles defeat Idaho on the road, 89-86


Anna Mills

Parker Kelly looking to pass

By Ehlohino Theodore, Senior Reporter

The EWU men’s basketball team competed in their third conference game of the season on Jan. 10, defeating the University of Idaho, 89-86, on the road.

“Every Big Sky team knows that we’re a good team this year, so they all want to come out and beat us,” said freshman guard Sir Washington. “And we cannot let them do it, so we work hard every day in practice to get better.”

The Eagles had an early 13-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game. At the 15:15 mark in the first half, Idaho started to get going offensively. With 7:05 minutes left in the first half, the Vandals managed to tie the score, 25-25.

Eastern built another lead with a 3-point jump shot by junior guard Tyler Harvey and a layup by senior guard Drew Brandon. The Eagles soon built a five-point lead with 5:58 remaining in the first half. Idaho tied the score again, 32-32, with 5:13 remaining in the first half.

At half time, Idaho had a one point advantage, 42-41, heading into the locker room. In the beginning of the second half, Eastern went on a 9-0 run to lead by eight points. The Eagles led throughout the second half until the 8:15 mark where Idaho tied the score, 67-67.

Eastern went on an 11-1 run to lead 78-68 with 4:29 left in the game. Idaho would not let up as they fought back, cutting the Eagles’ lead to two points, 86-84, with 39 seconds left in the game.

Eastern managed to secure the victory with free throws by Harvey and freshman forward Bogdan Bliznyuk.

“The 89-86 score doesn’t surprise me,”Head coach Jim Hayford told goeags.com. “I expected a close game between two really good offensive teams.”

Eastern outshot Idaho 52.6 percent to 48 percent in field goals and shot 42.3 percent behind the 3-point line. The Eagles also had 16 assists in the game and 15 points from turnovers.

“We were maybe just a little bit better on defense,” Hayford told goeags.com. “We forced a couple of key turnovers and that might have been the difference in a one-possession game. Otherwise, it was a very good game.”

This was the first conference meeting between Eastern and Idaho since 1996.

The Eagles improve to 12-4 on the season, 3-0 in conference play and 4-4 on the road.

Harvey finished with 23 points, six rebounds and two steals. Junior forward Venky Jois had 16 points, five rebounds and six blocks. Bliznyuk came off the bench to score 12 points.

“Idaho is a really great team and well coached,” said Washington. “They came out with a winning mindset. We had to fight the whole game.”

Eastern will compete against Portland State University on the road on Jan. 15.