EWU’s Peatling sets Big Sky scoring record with 54 points, Eags beat Multnomah146-89

EWU’s Peatling sets Big Sky scoring record with 54 points, Eags beat Multnomah146-89
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There was plenty of offense to go around, especially for Mason Peatling .

The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball senior scored a Big Sky Conference record 54 points as the Eagles overwhelmed undersized Multnomah 146-89 on Friday (Dec. 13) at the friendly – and high-scoring – confines of Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Peatling broke the record of 53 set by Willie Humes of Idaho State against Montana State on Feb. 20, 1971. He scored 34 in the first half alone, coming three from the league record in a half. His 24 field goals were also a league and EWU record and his 30 attempts broke a school record. He finished with 13 rebounds to complete his ninth double-double of his career and first of the season.

“Mason had a great game and it was fun to watch him play,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans . “Our guys were smart and got him touches. We have such an unselfish team – we had 39 assists tonight. We have players who put other people ahead of themselves. A lot of guys could have done that tonight, but it was Mason’s night. There were guys on him that weren’t big enough.

Eastern scored 96 of its points inside the paint, compared to just 20 for the Lions. The Eagles also had a dominating 67-27 rebounding advantage as the 6-foot-9 Peatling and 6-7 Aiken were too much inside for Multnomah, whose tallest player was 6-6.

“Our team did a great job, and it makes you proud as a coach to see them extremely happy for a teammate to be able to do something like that,” Legans added.

Junior Jacob Davison added 21 points, and sophomore Kim Aiken Jr. had his sixth double-double of the season and 10th of his career with 16 points and 22 rebounds. Aiken’s rebounds were a career high and equal the second-most in school history behind the record of 28.

Eastern’s 146 points were also league and school records, eclipsing the former record of 130. Eastern’s 59 field goals also broke league and school marks, and EWU’s 93 attempts, 67 rebounds and 39 assists were high-water marks in school history as well.

Eastern scored 80 points in the first half alone – two from the Big Sky record, then poured it on from there. Jacob Groves hit a basket with six minutes left to break the school and league record of 130 set on Feb. 4, 2017, and matched earlier this season by Weber State against West Coast Baptist in a 130-50 victory on Nov. 19.

Eastern led early 12-2, then a 21-3 run broke the game open. Eastern led by as many as 33 in the first half, and went on to lead by as many as 58 in the second half.

Eastern entered the game ranked 16th in NCAA Division I in scoring (83.0 per game), while also ranking ninth in 3-pointers made per game (10.6). Multnomah entered averaging 102.2 points per game while allowing 99.6. The Lions hoist up an average of 52.5 3-pointers per game, making an average of 20.8 per outing for a respectable .397 percentage.

The Lions finished Friday’s game 21-of-58 from the 3-point stripe (36.2 percent) as Justin Martin – a graduate of Spokane’s Lewis & Clark High School – poured in 34. He made 13-of-38 shots overall, including 6-of-18 from the arc, and also had 11 assists.

Eastern will host Nebraska Omaha on Tuesday, Dec. 17 prior to the team’s non-conference finale at No. 9 Gonzaga on Dec. 21. League play begins at Weber State on Dec. 28.

Records . . .

* Eastern is now 6-3 on the season, its best since beginning the 2015-16 season with an 8-2 mark. A year ago during an injury-plagued season, the Eagles began the year 1-9. The Eagles are now 4-0 at home, having registered one of its biggest victories in school history, an 87-82 home win on Nov. 26 over mid-major power Belmont in the final game for both schools in the Gotham Classic.

* Although the EWU game was an exhibition game for Multnomah, the Lions are 6-5 on the season following a 110-89 loss against College of Idaho on Dec. 7. Multnomah is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Cascade Collegiate Conference. A year ago, the Lions were 15-15 overall and 6-12 to tie for eighth in the CCC.

* Justin Martin, a 5-foot-10 guard and graduate of Spokane’s Lewis & Clark High School, is averaging 31.8 points and 7.8 assists per game. With a high game of 53 this season, he has had a hand in 205 of the team’s 392 field goals made this season (52 percent). Martin had a NAIA Division II record of 71 points on Dec. 4, 2018, when he made 15 3-pointers in a 126-124 win over Warner Pacific, winning the game with a running floater with two seconds left. Known as “3-point U,” the Lions hold the NAIA record for three-pointers taken (79) and made in a game (38). Martin was involved in the latter record when he finished with 49 points and 14 treys made in a 147-124 win over Pacific on Nov. 10, 2018.

What’s Next . . .

* Facing a team that beat Washington State on the road back in November, Eastern concludes its three-game homestand by hosting Nebraska Omaha this Tuesday (Dec. 17) at 6:05 p.m. at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Mavericks enter Sunday’s (Dec. 15) home game versus UTRGV (Texas Rio Grande Valley) with a 5-7 record overall, including an 85-77 win at Washington State on Nov. 21. That started a three-game winning streak that lifted them to a 5-3 record overall, but Omaha has dropped its last four. Included was a 73-65 loss at Northern Arizona on Dec. 8 and a 99-49 thumping at the hands of nationally-ranked Arizona three nights later. Their last victory was Nov. 25 at home against Southern by a 78-51 score.

* Like Eastern, the Mavericks feature a player averaging a double-double. Matt Pile is averaging 11.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game, and is ranked 18th in NCAA Division I in rebounding. He has four double-doubles, with a total of seven performances in double figures in rebounding and six in scoring. Eastern’s Kim Aiken Jr. entered Friday’s game versus Multnomah with five double-doubles and averages of 15.3 points and 10.8 rebounds to rank 16th nationally. Omaha’s leading scorer is J.T. Gibson with an average of 13.9 points per game while making a team-leading 25-of-64 (39.1 percent) of his 3-point attempts. K.J. Robinson averages 12.0 points, and Ayo Akinwole averages 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and a team-leading 3.8 assists. Pile had double-doubles versus both NAU (18/13) and Arizona (10/12).

Top Performers . . .

* Besides the Big 3 of Peatling, Davison and Aiken, redshirt freshman Casson Rouse had seven points and nine rebounds, and sophomore Tanner Groves came off the bench to net 17. True freshman Ellis Magnuson dished out nine assists, and another true freshman, Tyler Robertson had seven to go along with six points. A total of 12 players scored for EWU. Besides breaking the Big Sky scoring record, Peatling shattered the previous school record of 45 shared by three players – Rodney Stuckey, Jacob Groves and Bogdan Bliznyuk .

More Notes . . .

* Friday’s game was the first meeting between the two schools. Multnomah is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Eastern’s home game on Dec. 17 will also be EWU’s first-ever meeting against Nebraska Omaha. That game is now part of the Big Sky Conference Versus Summit League Challenge Series, and Eastern is now 11-16 all-time versus current members of that league.

* Two games in a five-game stretch in December are expected to be versus ranked opponents, with Washington ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the Coaches Poll (both released on Dec. 1) when the Eagles played the Huskies on Nov. 4 (a 90-80 UW victory). Gonzaga, EWU’s opponent Dec. 21 in Spokane, is currently ranked sixth in the two polls released on Dec. 9, while Washington dropped out of AP poll and is ranked 25th by the coaches after falling the Bulldogs 83-76 on Dec. 8.

More Comments from Head Coach Shantay Legans . . .

On Multnomah Style of Play: “It’s unbelievable. They aren’t big, but no joke, I watched more video of their games than I normally do. I watched a couple of their wins when they hit like 30 threes, and from that moment on I was stressed out. We had to make sure we knew what we are supposed to do defensively. Even though we knew they shot a lot of threes, we set a goal to hold them to 12 – and that’s a lot in a basketball game. And they come out and go 21-of-58, so my hat is off to them. That is a pretty good team, and I’m proud of our team to play poised, smart and have only 12 turnovers against that style of play.”