Thursday, March 1, 2012

EWU Eagle Seniors dominate in 77-64 victory over Idaho State

Laron Griffin (#15) earned his
11th career double-double
photo by Dan Pell
Normally Senior night is about a school, community and team saying, “Thank you” to their soon departing Senior class, instead, Tuesday night EWU’s Reese Court was honored by four Seniors playing what would have been the final home game of their college careers.  The Eagles decisive, dominant victory of the Bengals of Idaho State assured Cliff Colimon (#11), Cliff Ederaine (#42), Laron Griffin (#15) and Tremayne Johnson (#20) one more chance to play before their home crowd, to bring one more Eagle victory to Reese Court.

More after the jump:

The Eagles were dominant nearly from the start, taking the lead for good with more than 5 minutes remaining in the first half, the Eagles lead was considered 100% statistically safe with almost 4 minutes remaining.  The Eagles won nearly every statistic measurable, shooting percentage (44.4 - 41.1), rebounding (32-29), steals (11-7), blocks (5-2), turnovers (10-17), fouls (20-24), free throws (22 of 29 - 14 of 19), offensive rebounds (10-8) and the all important points (77-64).

Big Cliff Ederaine delivers
a big dunk; photo from
This game was all about the Seniors, Cliff Colimon led the way with a career high 28 pts, adding 4 assists, 2 rebounds and only committing 2 turnovers; Laron Griffin (#15) was spectacular turning in his 11th career double-double with 18 pts, 12 rebounds and adding 4 steals and 2 blocks, with only 3 personal fouls and 2 turnovers;  Big Cliff Ederaine (#42) added 8 pts, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks; Tremayne Johnson (#20) didn’t have a good night, but finished with one of the more impressive blocks I’ve seen this year.

In the perfect counterpoint, and a showcase of thins to come, it was true freshman walk on Parker Kelly (#10) who saw the most time off the bench Tuesday night adding 9 points of 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc and a pair of rebounds.  Junior Guard Jeffrey Forbes (#22) added 7 pts 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.  Kevin Winford (#23) in just 11 minutes reminded Eagles faithful that he is ready to help fill the void of those departing seniors with 4 pts, 2 steals and an assist.

The Bengals were frustrated offensively, with star Guard Kenny McGowen held to 13 pts before fouling out.  Along with McGowen (12 pts),  Abner Moreira (10 pts), Andre Hatchett (17 pts) and Melvin Morgan (18 pts) combined to give the Bengals 56 pts.  On Tuesday night those same four were held to just 31 points.  In the end it was Senior Guard Chase Grabau who refused to quit for the Bengals, scoring 6 of the final 8 pts for the Bengals in the closing minutes and finished as the teams leading scorer with 15 pts.

The win was huge for the Eagles (8-8, 14-16) who won the 4th seed in the Big Sky Conference Tournament and will host the 5th seeded Bengals (7-9, 9-20) in the opening round on Saturday, tip off at 2pm pst.