Eagles get stung by Hornets at home

Eagles get stung by Hornets at home

Eastern stole a game in Sacramento, and the Hornets did the same in Cheney.

Fouls and toughness were the deciding factors as the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team suffered a rare home loss in falling to Sacramento State 59-56 Thursday (Feb. 28) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern held the Hornets to 39 percent shooting in the game, including just 30 percent in the first half. But Eastern was undone by its own 30 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes and finished at 33.3 percent for the game. The game featured 41 fouls – 21 by Sac State and 20 by the Eagles – with the two teams combining for 31 made free throws (in 39 attempts) and just 35 total field goals.

Sac State’s Marcus Graves, who nearly had a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, gave Sac State the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 2:15 to play. Eastern missed its last three field goal attempts in a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes.

“Sac State came out and had a great game plan – they played well against us and were tough,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans . “They did a terrific job of keeping us out of rhythm. The game was a little choppy and there were a lot of fouls, kind of like the Southern Utah game last week. We space the floor so well and have players who can make plays, but at the same time they make the game choppy and foul our bigs. They come underneath, bump cutters and limit our freedom of movement.”

Despite the loss, Eastern has won eight of its last 13 games in league play, and is 10-8 since starting the season 1-9. Eastern is now 9-4 at Reese Court where the Eagles had a seven-game winning streak come to an end with the setback. Eastern is 2-13 on opponent home courts, including last Saturday’s 86-73 romp at Northern Arizona. Eastern was trying to beat a Sacramento State team it beat 94-92 on the road in overtime on Feb. 26.

Eastern plays Portland State Saturday at 2:05 p.m. on Senior Day at Reese Court, facing a Vikings team which beat EWU 78-65 in Portland. Eastern fell out of a fourth-place tie with Montana State, and is now tied with Southern Utah and Portland State in fifth at 9-8.

Eastern played its fourth-straight game without Jacob Davison , who scored 41 points in an 82-64 home win over NAU on Feb. 4. The Eagles are 2-2 in those four games.