Monday, February 13, 2012

EWU gets swept up by Weber State 84-75

The Eagles (5-7, 11-14) lost their second game in a row on Saturday to Weber State (12-1, 20-4) 84 -75.  The first half was a bit wild with Weber State jumping out to an 8-0 lead before Eastern Washington settled down and took control of the game for several minutes closing the gap to two points 25-23 with about 5 minutes to go in the half.  Then Weber State Junior Guard Damian Lillard made a pair of 3pt shots to spark a run that seemed to completely derail the Eagles and Weber State took a 41-30 lead into halftime.

The Eagles came out in the second playing aggressive defense (2 steals and 1 block within the first 5 minutes) and behind Parker Kelly (#10) and Cliff Colimon (#11) started finding their range with Colimon draining three three pointers and dishing to Kelly who also drained a three and earned an assist during a 12-4 run that saw the Eagles close the gap to 45-42, during which the got as close as they would for the remainder of the game 41-39.

Weber State was unable to pull away until the final minute when Kyle Bullinger and Scott Bamforth made 8 consecutive free throws to cap an amazing night from the stripe for the Wildcats who went 32 of 35 as a team including 12 of 12 for Damian Lillard.  35 free throws off of 24 personal fouls committed by the Eagles was truly the difference in this game.  Weber State won the rebounding battle 42-32 but was held to 37.9% (22of 58) shooting from the field including 33.3% from beyond the arc (8 of 24) by an Eagles defense that forced 11 turnovers and came up with 6 steals and 6 blocks.

Overall this game was very hard to watch, the broadcast team was truly unbearable, every time Weber State had the ball they claimed their was at least one blatant Eagle foul and conversely when the Wildcats were called for a foul they claimed it was a terrible call proclaiming, “This official has spent to much time officiating girls games.”  There were a ton of fouls called and it really seemed to disrupt the flow of the game, but with Eastern drawing 24 calls to Weber State’s 23 it was not unbalanced.

Jeffrey Forbes (#22) and Kyle Tresnak (#44)
scramble for a loose ball.
photo from Nicholas Draney
of the Standard Examiner
For the Eagle’s, Colimon finished with 20pts, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal; Kelly added a season high 17pts, 1 rebound and 1 assist; Cliff Ederaine (#42) finished with 6pts, 6 rebonds, 4 assists and 4 blocks while committing only 2 personal fouls.  Collin Chiverton (#24) continued his recent slump shooting 2 of 13 from the field for 7pts, 2 rebounds and a steal.  Laron Griffin (#15) couldn’t get it going on offense (6pts, 1 assist) but had a solid game on defense (5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal) before fouling out for the 9th time this season.  Jeffrey Forbes (#22) also struggled offensively going 2 of 9 from the field for 8pts, 2 assists and 2 offensive rebounds, but turned in a solid performance on defense with 3 defensive rebounds and 3 steals.

For the Wildcats, Damian Lillard led the scoring with 22pts while shooting 4 of 13 from the field and a perfect 12 for 12 from the free throw line.  Lillard also added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.  Sophopmore Forward Byron Fulton added 16pts and 9 rebounds.

Eastern Washington hosts Northern Colorado on Wednesday in a showdown for 6th place in the Big Sky (5-8, 8-16) while Weber State travels to Montana State (6-7, 11-13) the same day.  The combination of an Eagles win and a Bobcats loss could allow EWU to vault into 5th place.