Thursday, February 23, 2012

Game Preview: EWU Eagles at ISU Bengals 2/23/2012

Tremayne Johnson (#20) needs to show
the same effort and focus as he did
in the second half against UC Irvine
photo from
Tonight the 5th place Eastern Washington Eagles (6-7, 12-15) will be in Pocatello, ID to take on the 4th place Idaho State Bengals (7-6, 9-17).  Tip off is at 6:05pm pst Both teams need every conference win they can get in this final stretch.  The Eagles are still looking to lock up one of 6 spots in the Big Sky Conference tournament and can potentially finish as high as 3rd place in the standings which would allow them to host their opening round at Reese Court.  According to the Big Sky Conference website, the Bengals, along with Weber State and Montana, have already clinched a spot in the post season tournament however the Bengals could finish as high as 3rd or as low as 6th.  The Bengals need to finish as high as they can in order to secure a first round home game.

Both teams also enter the contest having lost 3 of their last 4 games including 2 of 3 in the conference.  As covered previously, the Eagles fell short against UC Irvine on Saturday while the Bengals also fell short, although in a more spectacular finish, to the Pacific Tigers.

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week, Cliff Colimon (#11).  Want to know how the Eagles fared in a given game, just look at Colimon’s stats.  In the Eagles 12 wins Cliff has averaged 16.7 points, 6.1 assists, 4 rebounds and 3.1 turnovers while shooting 43% from the field, including 41% from beyond the arc.  In the Eagles 15 losses Cliff averaged 14 pts, 4.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 turnovers while shooting 34.9% from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc.

The Eagles will also look to their senior forwards to help them start and finish strong.  Cliff Ederaine (#42) is the Eagles 3rd leading scorer (10.8), leads the team in rebounds (7.7) and blocks (1.2).  Laron Griffin (#15) scores 7.1 pts per game, leads the team in offensive rebounds (2.9) is second in overall rebounds (6.3) and would probably be do even more if he could stay on the court.  Griffin has fouled out an astonishing 11 times this season and finished with 4 fouls in ten other games.  Tremayne Johnson (#20) is the third senior forward in the rotation, but showed last week that he too can take over a game with 11 pts, 3 rebounds 1 steal and 1 block all in the second half against UC Irvine.  Johnson averages 6.9 pts, 4.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks in 19 minutes per contest.

Collin Chiverton (#24) a junior forward is the teams leading scorer with 16.1 pts in just 24 minutes per game.  Off the bench watch out for Parker Kelly (#10) the true freshman walk on who has gotten hot of late averaging 9.8 pts including 2.2 three pointers in 20 minutes a contest.

For the Bengals, Senior Guard Kenny McGowen (#11) is their leading scorer (13.7), Senior Guard Chase Grabau (#2) adds 12.8 pts, 5 rebounds and 3.2 assists and Junior Guard Melivin Morgan (#3) scores 11.9 pts and dishes 2.7 assists per contest. 6’9” 220lb Senior Forward Abner Moreira out of Sao Paulo, Brazil is the teams leading rebounder (7.2) and adds 6.1 pts, 1 steal and 0.5 blocks per game.  These four players average 28.9 minutes per game or more.  Among the rest of the team only Sophomore Guard Andre’ Hatchett (#15) averages more than 16 minutes per game (25.8).  Hatchett averages 7 pts 4 rebounds and 1 assist.

Eastern Washington will travel to Portland State (7-6, 13-13) on Saturday before meeting the Bengals (again) in the final regular season game for both teams at Reese Court in Cheney on February 28th.  The Bengals will host Sacramento State (4-10, 9-27) on Saturday.

Last meeting: February 5th, 2011 Eagles won 69-67 in Cheney, just a week after beating Idaho State in Pocatello 83 -70.