Eastern Washington (1-4) at Santa Clara (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 7:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center 13,106) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: Eastern Washington 0-0, Santa Clara 3-0. Away Record: Eastern Washington 0-3, Santa Clara 1-0. Neutral Record: Eastern Washington 1-1, Santa Clara 0-0. Conference Record: Eastern Washington 0-0, Santa Clara 0-0. Series Record: Santa Clara leads 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The CBE Hall of Fame Classic continues on Friday when the Eastern Washington Eagles collide with the Santa Clara Broncos at the Leavey Center.
Eastern Washington split its decisions in the first two games of the Classic. In the opener the Eagles lost a close 86-83 contest with Utah Valley before taking down USC Upstate (75-70) in another tight affair. That was the first win of the season for the Eagles who lost on the road to Washington State (80-69), Cal State Northridge (96-79) and Saint Mary's (85-66). Eastern Washington will play its first home game (the first of three straight) starting next Friday against Cal State Fullerton.
In its first two games of the Classic, Santa Clara came out with a pair of wins downing USC Upstate (85-65) and Utah Valley (75-67). After that the Broncos are now 4-0 through the first four games including an impressive 74-62 win over Saint Louis, which was an NCAA Tournament team last season. The Broncos will remain at home in their next three games beginning against Utah State.
In just six total meetings, Santa Clara owns a 4-2 advantage over Eastern Washington.
The Eagles never trailed in the second half against USC Upstate but did find themselves tied 67-67 with more than two minutes remaining in regulations. Eastern Washington then went on a 6-0 spurt, highlighted by a 3-pointer from JEff Forbes at the 19-second mark, to pull away for the win. The Eagles shot 48.0 percent from the floor in the game and were the benefactors of a massive 36-9 edge on points from beyond the arc. Collin Chiverton scored 19 points and hit on 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range while Venky Jois had a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds).
Although Eastern Washington is scoring fairly well this season (74.4 ppg) the Eagles have not been a very efficient squad, shooting just 39.4 percent from the field. That has been a problem as opponents are shooting at a 48.9 percent clip while scoring 85.0 points per game. Justin Crosgile (16.0 ppg, 7.2 apg) is the top scorer on the team but is perhaps more vital for his ball handling and roles as the main facilitator for the team. Venky Jois (12.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and MArtin Seiferth (10.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are at the end of a majority of Crosgile's helpers while Chiverton (9.4 ppg) is providing quite a spark despite playing slightly more than 15 minutes per game. The 6-foot-6 forward scored in double figures last season and had done so in each of the last two games.
Despite allowing Utah Valley to shoot at a 53.1 percent clip overall on Wednesday, Santa Clara was able to pull out a win. The Broncos shot at a 46.6 percent clip and had a 16-9 edge in points from the free throw line while using a 16-0 run in the second half to secure the victory. The Broncos also forced 17 turnovers while committing only six themselves. Two players scored more than 20 points in the game as Marc Trasolini scored 29 points and Kevin Foster added 21.
The Broncos are scoring 85 points per game, handing out 18.0 assists and shooting at a 50.2 percent clip, all of which are within the top 30 marks in the country. That offensive firepower as led the Broncos to a massive +20.0 scoring margin. The Broncos have gotten the bulk of its scoring from Trasolini, Foster and Evan Roquemore accounting for 57.9 percent of the team's total offensive output. Foster (21.5 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.5 spg) is the lead scorer and has also passed well and been extremely disruptive on the defensive end. Trasolini (17.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg) anchors the squad from the inside, while Roquemore (10.5 ppg, 5.2 apg) can score, but succeeds more as a facilitator.
If Eastern Washington wants to start improving its defensive efforts, this won't be the right game to have that begin. Santa Clara has been filling up the basket and on its home floor won't suffer a let down.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 80, Eastern Washington 66
11/23 10:52:01 ET