Eagles fall to Huskies in Seattle

Eagles fall to Huskies in Seattle
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The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team gave No. 22/23 Washington everything it could handle for 15 minutes Wednesday (Dec. 4), but UW pulled away in the second half for a 90-80 win at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Sophomore Kim Aiken Jr. paved the way for Eastern with a season-high 20 points, including a 3-pointer with five minutes to play in the first half and knot the score at 33 after a start which saw the Eagles lead 10-1. However, Washington scored 14 of the last 16 points in the first half, and then opened up a 20-point lead in the second half.

Junior Jacob Davison chipped in 12 points and senior Tyler Kidd came off the bench to also score 12 for EWU, which returns to Reese Court to face North Dakota on Sunday (Dec. 8).

“We’re disappointed to lose to UW, but you just have to keep getting better,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans . “We wanted this for Eagle Nation. It hurts to lose this.”

Turnovers played a big part in the loss for EWU. Seventeen Eagle turnovers led to 19 Washington points – a season high for a team versus EWU this season – with 12 UW points off nine EWU turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. Eastern also missed 10 of their 22 attempted free throws, including a 3-of-10 performance in the first half.

“We competed – I thought it was a winnable game,” Legans said. “We appreciate the hospitality of the University of Washington and got to play a great game, but I thought we left some points out there and had too many fouls. We have be smart, and make sure our guys know how important it is to have them stay on the court and not get into foul trouble too early.”

The Eagles jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead, with Casson Rouse sinking a pair of 3-pointers as EWU sank its first four shots. But a 10-0 Husky run wiped out the lead, and then the rest of the half was a battle. There were four three ties and four lead changes and EWU trailed 47-35 at intermission.

Eastern was within 12 with 11:12 remaining in the game when the Huskies provided a dagger with a 13-5 run to open a 20-point advantage at the four-minute mark. But EWU’s 43.3 percent shooting overall and 31.3 percent shooting from the 3-point stripe (10-of-32) was too much to overcome.