February 27, 2011

How bout them Eagles!

I think that the state of Montana is getting really sick of losing to the Eagles. I'm just tickled.

No shots in the first half? No problem.

Sophomore guard Glen Dean scored all 17 of his points after intermission -- including a go-ahead three-pointer with 55 seconds left in overtime -- to propel the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team to a 59-55 victory over Montana Saturday (Feb. 26) Big Sky Conference men's basketball game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

"Wow -- I was so happy for our players," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine. "They showed a tremendous amount of resolve to win that game."

Seeking one of six berths in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, the victory itself all but clinched a post-season playoff berth for the Eagles, who can still finish as high as fifth in the league standings. Eastern is now 9-19 overall and 6-9 in the league.

Later Saturday night, Weber State eliminated Sacramento State from contention with a 73-70 win, and inched EWU closer to a berth. Only a potential three-way tie between EWU, Idaho State and Montana State at 6-10 could keep the Eagles home. The Eagles end the regular season on the road at Weber State next Wednesday (March 2). Depending on final placings, the Eagles could open the playoffs at one of four teams -- Montana, Northern Colorado, Weber State or Northern Arizona.

Compared to the first half of the season, the Eagles have been playing really well once they got everyone healthy. I don't think their record accurately reflects how good this team is. We could see a pretty good run in the Big Sky Tournament so stay tuned.

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