Richard Clark IV for The Easterner
EWU (2-2, 9-6) coasted through most of its first six home games, winning each one and winning four of the six by double-digits. That streak ended Thursday, as the Eagles got dominated by the first-place Montana Grizzlies (4-1, 8-8) 90-63.
The 27-point margin was EWU’s worst in a game against the Griz since 1984.
“Montana played a terrific game,” EWU head coach Shantay Legans said. “They out-classed us. They out-played us. They out-coached us in every aspect of the game.”
True freshman Derrick Carter-Hollinger came off the bench for UM and wreaked havoc in the first half. Carter-Hollinger shot 7-7 from the field and 2-2 from the line in the first half for 16 points while adding six rebounds and three blocks.
Carter-Hollinger finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
“He kicked our butts,” Legans said of Carter-Hollinger. “He made threes, he offensive rebounded (and) he played with crazy energy. We didn’t match his energy.”
EWU trailed 46-28 at halftime. The Eagles cut the UM lead to 13 points early in the second half but never got any closer, as UM shot 54.5% from the field for the game and EWU shot just 35.9%.
UM had 21 assists to EWU’s 13. EWU came into the game leading the Big Sky Conference in assists per game (18.1), while UM was last (10.1). That flipped tonight, as UM whipped the ball around crisply on offense and EWU struggled to create passing lanes on the other side of the floor.
Senior forward Mason Peatling led EWU with 12 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Jacob Davison had 15 points to lead the Eagles in scoring. Senior Kendal Manuel had 20 points for UM.
EWU now has a week to bounce back before heading to Moscow, Idaho to take on the Idaho Vandals on Jan. 16. Tip-off is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m.