EWU Back On Top of Big Sky


Photo captured by photographer Emily Powers

By Luke Pickett, Reporter

Eagles basketball is back and better than ever. EWU men’s basketball picked up their ninth straight victory Thursday in a 83-75 win at Northern Colorado.

EWU, having high hopes for this season, held a record of 4-7 just over a month ago. Since losing to Texas Tech 77-70 on Dec. 13, the Eags have won nine in a row including a 7-0 sweep against Big Sky opponents. 

In the midst of the run, EWU weathered two tests on the road in victories against Montana and Montana State. The momentum continued as the Eagles dominated the home floor. The Eagles are 7-1 at Reese Court on the year. 

EWU is currently No. 1 in the Big Sky with a record of 13-7. This has been the team’s best start to conference play in school history.

Redshirt junior guard Steele Venters leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.3 points. Venters, who was Second Team All-Big Sky in 2021-22, leads the team with a 95.5 percent free-throw rating. In a 78-70 win against North Dakota State on Dec. 3, Venters scored a career-high 33 points.

Casey Jones has a team-leading 6.4 rebounds per game this season as the Eagles starting forward. Senior transfer forward Angelo Allegri leads EWU with 3.4 assists per game.  

The Eagles lead the Big Sky in per-game rebounds, assists, and blocks. Head coach David Riley has found the blueprint to success off the bench from the pair of sophomore transfers Cedric Coward and Dane Erikstrup.

With the young group finding its comradery, the ball has been moving unselfishly amidst the win streak. Almost every victory has a different Eagles player leading in just about every box score category.

Ethan Price, last season’s Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year, is averaging 10.2 points on 52.9 percent from the field. Price is tied for first in blocks this season in the Big Sky.

During the Eags win streak, there have been some incredible moments resulting in Reese Court erupting with applause from EWU students and fans.

In a 78-75 win over Sacramento State, Venters hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to ice the game with two seconds remaining. 

In the very next game, EWU demoralized Idaho in a 95-74 victory.  Toward the end of the game, senior transfer guard Deon Stroud threw down a ridiculous one-handed poster dunk over an Idaho player.

Home court advantage is in full effect in Cheney for the first time since before COVID-19.

EWU looks for a clean sweep of the Big Sky as they face three more conference teams for the first time this season– Northern Arizona, Idaho State, and Weber State. 

Eags (13-7, 7-0) play at NAU (5-15, 1-6) Saturday, Jan. 21 at 1pm PST, game streaming on ESPN+.