Friday, January 23, 2015

Eagles bounce back to remain unbeaten (9-0) at Reese Court with win over Northern Colorado

In a battle of "directional" schools, the Eastern Washington University Eagles rode a dominant first half to victory over the University of Northern Colorado Bears 95-85.

Head Coach Jim Hayford said that he worked his team very hard on defense in the wake of a 1-1 road trip and the injury to Venky Jois.  In the first half hosting the Bears, the 32nd ranked team by scoring per game in the nation, Coach's efforts showed as the Eagles held the Bears to just 27 points off 33.3% shooting from the field.

The Eagles did not forget how to play offense despite the week of defensive focus, they put up 50 first half points by shooting 57.7% from the field and 66.7% from the 3 point line.

In the second half, UNC Head Coach B.J. Hill turned things around by employing a press defense against a young Eastern Washington squad, resulting in 14 second half turnovers by the Eagles.  His team took advantage of fast break opportunities to build confidence shooting and found itself hitting seemingly everything as they hit on 54.8% of their second half shot including 50% of the shots from beyond the arc.

The Eagles held on by hitting 14 of 15 free throws down the stretch and shooting 50% from the field in the second half.

Perhaps the best description of the Eagles defense is the fact that they held the Bears' leading scorers Tevin Svihovec and Cameron Michael to a combined 5 points.  They average 25 points per game.  Svihovec finished the game 0-10 from the field, while Michael was 2-4 including 1 three pointer.

The Eagles were led in scoring by Tyler Harvey with 35 points.  He added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block.  Harvey hit 5 of 9 three pointers and went 12-14 from the charity stripe.

Parker Kelly was all over the court defensively, and added 15 points on 5 of 9 threes with 3 rebounds and 1 steal.

Drew Brandon continued his strong stretch, with a double-double 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block.

Ognjen "OG" Miljkovich added 11 points on 4-9 shooting with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

JC transfer Kyle Reid got the start in place of the injured Venky Jois, and gave the Eagles a season high 23 minutes.  He finished with 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block.

Bogdan Bliznyuk again paced the Eagles bench with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

Sir Washington turned in a flawless offensive performance with 8 points of 2-2 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line.  He added 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

Garrett Moon played 3 minutes, earning 2 points, 1 block and 3 personal fouls.

Daniel Hill also saw some action netting 1 rebound and 1 turn over.

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