Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours

On Christmas Eve, our team fed the homeless at the Red Cross in Spokane. Afterwards, the guys who couldn't make it home spent the night at Coach Hayford's and enjoyed Christmas with the Hayford family.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Conference Win vs. Idaho State

Crosgile and Big Block Helps Eastern Beat Bengals 57-54

Eagles finish with their best defensive performance of the season and EWU heads into its extended holiday break with 1-1 Big Sky mark

A late 8-0 run keyed by the floor play of Justin Crosgile – and a huge blocked shot by Thomas Reuter with nine seconds left -- lifted Eastern Washington University to a 57-54 victory over Idaho State Saturday (Dec. 22) at Reese Court in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game.
Crosgile offset a 2-of-12 shooting night with seven assists, four steals and seven rebounds to go along with eight points. His 3-point play with 3:31 to play gave Eastern a lead it would not relinquish as the Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Eagles head into the holidays with a 3-9 record overall and 1-1 Big Sky record, having not won since Nov. 30 against Cal State Fullerton. The Bengals are now 1-9 overall and 0-2 in the league and have lost four in a row.
 “To be on this side of a close win will go a long way for our guys -- it was a much-needed win,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “I am really happy our guys can take this win into the break. We don’t play again for twelve days. To think of the alternative, that would have been really tough.”
Freshman forward Venky Jois had his sixth double-double of the season – all coming in the last nine games – with 13 points and 12 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots, as well as 6-foot-10 sophomore Martin Seiferth, who finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Senior Jeffrey Forbes hit a trio of 3-pointers – giving him 155 in his career – to finish with nine points. Freshman point guard Daniel Hill chipped in eight points in just his third game as an Eagle.
Eastern led by as many as 13 in the first half, but found itself trailing by five at the 6:25 mark of the second half. Crosgile assisted on a 3-pointer by Forbes to ignite the 8-0 run, then had three steals in the next minute, including one that led to his 3-point play with 3:31 left and gave EWU 49-46 advantage it would not relinquish.
In the final minute, with EWU nursing a one-point lead, ISU had a steal and was headed for a fast-break layin. But Reuter blocked the layin attempt, retrieved the ball, was fouled and then made a pair of free throws with seven seconds left that provided the final margin.
“They made a great steal when we were trying to call timeout -- give them credit, they made (what could have been) a winning play,” explained Hayford. “Fortunately, Thomas made a big block -- I don’t know if he will make a bigger block in his career. I hope so, but that’s going to be a big one to try to get better on. That’s just a great winning play, and he came down and sank the two winning free throws.”
Eastern led most of the first half, and used runs of 7-0 and 10-0 to open a 29-16 lead on a layup by Hill with 3:11 left. Idaho State, however, scored the last six points of the half and trailed at intermission 29-22.
The Eagles made 46 percent of their shots in the first half, compared to 35 percent for ISU. Jois scored 11 points and had six rebounds in the first half, with Hill providing a spark off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and score eight points total.
The 54 points the Eagles allowed was the fewest they surrendered by 16 – the previous best for the Eagles came in a 75-70 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Nov. 21. Eastern held the Bengals to 37.9 percent shooting from the field, which was Eastern’s best defensive effort of the season. The previous best was a 38.1 percent effort versus Cal State Fullerton.
“They are very patient on offense,” said Hayford. “And they play a zone that makes you need rotations to get the ball inside, so that’s going to take time on the clock. They are a very well-coached team. When they got the separation on us, it was us missing some good looks. Fortunately we had some good plays where defense led to offense and that reversed it, and got the lead back in our hands.”
“I figured it would be a one or two possession game in the fifties and I was right,” he added.
 Eastern has won the last 11 meetings versus ISU in Cheney, dating back to a 65-63 Bengal win at EWU on March 1, 2003. Overall, the Eagles have won seven consecutive games in the series, dating back to the last win for ISU on Jan. 22, 2010 (79-71 in Pocatello). Eastern has won 25 of the past 34 meetings against the Bengals, including a sweeps the last two years.
Eastern takes an extended break for the holidays, and won’t play again until visiting Big Sky Conference favorite Montana on Jan. 3 in Missoula, Mont. Two days later on Jan. 5 the Eagles play at Montana State. Eastern doesn’t play at Reese Court again until Northern Arizona visits on Jan. 10.
“We have guys from all over the world, so they don’t get to go home,” added Hayford. “The neat part is we will have an international Christmas with these guys. We will go to the Salvation Army on Christmas Eve, and serve some people. That will bring us a lot of joy to have that opportunity.”

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Big Win vs. Cal-State Fullerton

In front of our home crowd for the first time this season, the Eagles showed grit and determination in overcoming a 9 point deficit in the second half, for a thrilling come back victory.

For action photos from the game, check out this link:

For more information on the game, here is an article by Jim Allen of the Spokesman Review.

December 1, 2012

EWU knocks off CS-Fullerton 79-75 without Chiverton

Jim Allen
The Spokesman-Review
EWU’s Martin Seiferth, left, defends against Fullerton’s D.J. Seeley.
As growth spurts go, this one is as graceful as they get.
A young Eastern Washington basketball team grew up in the second half of Friday night’s game with Cal State Fullerton, gaining not only a 79-75 win but the promise of more growth to come.
“The first thought that went through my head was our team grew up a lot tonight,” said Eagles coach Jim Hayford, whose club earned a signature win in its first home game of the season.
Most of that growth happened in the second half, without the services of starter Collin Chiverton – who is in California on a personal emergency – and with Eastern trailing by eight points against an aggressive, fast-paced team.
In Chiverton’s place, forward Thomas Reuter scored four straight points to ignite a 13-2 run.
“We wanted to make them pay for having four guards, and Thomas was the mismatch,” said Hayford, adding that Chiverton – the Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year last season – is on indefinite leave after a close friend died in California. That comes a month after the death of Chiverton’s mother.
“Our whole team really hurts for Chiv right now,” said Hayford, whose club improved to 2-5 entering Thursday’s home game against Idaho.
“I think all Thomas thought was ‘I need to play up to my ability and that’s the best I can do to fill his shoes.’ And he did a great job.”
Six points from redshirt freshman forward Venky Jois extended the rally, which was punctuated by a long 3-pointer from junior point guard Justin Crosgile that put Eastern ahead 63-60 with 7:46 left.
“I felt that if I got a free look I was going to take it, and it felt good,” said the 5-foot-11 Crosgile, who scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Fullerton, getting 22 points from Kwame Vaughn and 21 from D.J. Seeley, forged a 64-all tie with under 5 minutes left, but didn’t make another field goal until a meaningless 3 with 5 seconds left.
Fullerton (3-3) thrived in its transition game in the first half, but wore down as the game went on and shot just 28 percent in the second half.
“We saw (on film) that they loved to play transition,” Jois said. “But we felt that in a half-court game, they couldn’t match up with us.”
Certainly not with Jois, who shot 10 for 14 and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, both team highs. Reuter added 16 points and five boards.
Still, the game nearly went down to the wire. Crosgile drove the lane for a layin that put Eastern ahead 72-68 with 1:26 left, but Fullerton cut it to two on a pair free throws by Vaughn.
The Titans had a chance to take the lead with 36 seconds left, but Vaughn missed from long range and Jois grabbed the biggest rebound of the game. Jois passed to Forbes, who was fouled, made a pair of free throws, then stole the ball and made two more free throws to make it 76-70 with 17 seconds left.