Eagles edge Bears in 2nd consecutive overtime win

Eastern Washington women fall to Northern Colorado
Eastern Washington women fall to Northern Colorado

CHENEY, Wash. — For the second-straight game the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team had a dominating performance in overtime and beat Northern Colorado 89-84 in a battle for second place in the Big Sky Conference standings at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern’s big three of senior Mason Peatling, junior Jacob Davison and sophomore Kim Aiken Jr.combined for 64 of EWU’s points, including yet another monster game by Peatling with 21 points and 22 rebounds – third most in school history. Flirting with a triple-double, Peatling also had seven assists and three blocked shots. Aiken led the Eagles with 23 points and Davison finished with 20.

The game featured nine lead changes and seven ties, with most of those coming in the second half. The Eagles used a 33-13 run to turn a 13-point first-half deficit into a seven-point advantage after intermission. The Eagles went the final 1:48 of regulation without scoring, but dominated overtime 15-10, including baskets by Aiken and Peatling – both after offensive boards by Peatling – to give EWU an 84-79 cushion with 41 seconds left.

Peatling was coming off a 30/11/5/5 performance against Southern Utah on Saturday (Jan. 25) in an 81-78 OT win, thus giving him 51 points, 33 rebounds, 12 assists, eight blocked shots and 16 fouls drawn in two games. The sweep helped pull Eastern to within a half-game of first place in the league standings. Eastern is now 13-6 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky, with Montana leading the way at 7-2.

“We’re in a fantastic league, we have fantastic coaches and there are some fantastic players who are underrated in this country,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans. “There were so many players on that court who are really good. It was  a fun basketball game to coach and watch the guys play. There were so many emotions and a lot of stress throughout that game. But there was a lot of excitement too.”

The Eagles have now won the last six meetings in Cheney versus UNC, having not lost at home to the Bears since 2013.

Eastern led early 12-10, then was trailing by just two at the 9:46 mark. But EWU would make just two of its next nine shots, and a subsequent 15-4 UNC run put the Bears up 37-24 with 5:21 to play.

But the deficit sparked EWU to an 8-0 run, including the first four off a pair of UNC turnovers. Four different Eagles scored in the run, and they pulled within 43-40 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Aiken after an offensive rebound and pass from Peatling.

The Eagles scored the first five points of the second half to take a 45-43 advantage, then continued their tear with a 12-4 run. A 3-pointer by Casson Rouse put EWU up 57-50 with 13:52 to play, completing EWU’s 33-13 turnaround from being 13 down.

Davison scored EWU’s last five points in regulation, but UNC knotted the game at 74 with :47 seconds left, then appeared to win on a rebound basket at the buzzer. But after officials reviewed the end of the game, it was determined a shot clock violation had occurred and put one second on the clock. Peatling collected a long pass from Aiken, but his 23-footer just missed as time expired.

Peatling’s saved the ball after an EWU miss for his 20th rebound of the game, and that play ended up as a 3-pointer by Aiken with 1:04 to put EWU up by three. Peatling had a rebound basket with 41 seconds left that put the Eagles up 84-79.