Monday, February 27, 2012

EWU Eagles lose another close one to Portland State 69-64

Tremayne Johnson (#20)
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The Eagles (7-8, 13-16) came into the game looking to avenge the overtime defeat they suffered on January 21st, 2012 when Portland State (9-6, 15-13) came to Cheney.  In both games the Eagles lost by a combined margin of 7 points and in both games the Vikings made 27 more free throws than the Eagles.  Defensively the Eagles had tremendous trouble stopping Chehales Tapscott (combined 11 of 19 free throws), Charles Odum (combined 20 of 26 free throws) and Lateef McMullan (combined 12 of 15 free throws) without sending them to the foul line.

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The Eagles had their opportunities in this game, but failed to capitalize shooting only 15 of 26 from the line (57.7%) and had another abysmal night shooting in general.  The Eagles shot 32.4% from the field and 22.7% from beyond the arc.  The Eagles failed to consistently get open looks and made some poor decisions that contributed to an off night.  The Eagles again played tough and battled to with 2 points at 66-64 with 44 seconds remaining.  

Laron Griffin (#15)
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The game was not Senior day for the Eagles, that special final home game for departing Seniors, but it was Senior day on the court as the Eagles were carried completely by their four seniors.  All told the Eagle Seniors went 18 of 46 from the field (39%) for 51 points.  Senior Guard Cliff Colimon (#11) again led the Eagles in scoring with 19 points and added 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 steal while committing only 2 turnovers.  Senior Forward Laron Griffin (#15) added 11 pts, 9 rebounds (including 5 offensive rebounds) 2 steals and 1 assist before fouling out for the 6th time in a row and 13th time on the season.  Senior Forward Tremayne Johnson (#20) also scored 11 and added 5 rebounds and 1 block.  Senior Forward Cliff Ederaine (#42) added 10 pts, 6 rebounds 2 steals 1 block and 1 assist.

Cliff Colimon (#11)
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The remaining Eagles combined for 13 pts, 12 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists shooting 4 of 22 from the field  (18.2%).  Had the Eagle Underclassmen shot only as well as their Senior teammates (39%) they would have scored 8 additional points.  The Eagles need much more if they want to make a run in the Big Sky Tournament.  Particularly the Eagles missed the presence of Collin Chiverton (#24) who was again very limited by a back injury.  Chiverton played only 9 minutes but was able to collect 3 rebounds and score 4 points.  He was also involved in multiple defensive plays that led to Viking turnovers, though they didn’t show on the stat sheet.  Collin played from what I could see a very tough, aggressive and largely disciplined 9 minutes and he was sorely missed when he just couldn’t keep playing through what is an apparently very painful injury.

Cliff Ederaine (#42)
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The Vikings were held to just 39% shooting from the field, but were allowed to shoot 36 free throws and they did capitalize by making 27 of them.  Chehales Tapscott led the way with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, Renado Parker came off the bench for another double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.  Charles Odum scored 14 points including 10 of 12 from the free throw line.

The win clinched the number 3 seed in the Big Sky and the Vikings will host Montana State (6-9, 11-16) in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament.  First they will play host to Northern Arizona for the regular season finale on Tuesday night, tip off at 7:05pm pst.  For the Eagls the loss dropped them into a tie for 4th place with Idaho State (7-8, 9-19), the team they happen to playing in their regular season finale also on Tuesday night, tip off at 6:05pm pst.  The winner of that game will go on to host the other in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament.