Eastern Washington (4-12) at North Dakota (5-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 17, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sioux Center (3,300) -- Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Television: Midco Sports, FCS-ATL. Home Record: EWU 3-4, UND 4-3. Away Record:
EWU 0-7, UND 1-7. Neutral Record: EWU 1-1, UND 0-0. Conference Record: EWU
2-4, UND 2-4. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of struggling Big Sky Conference teams are set to square
off at the Sioux Center on Thursday night, as the Eastern Washington Eagles
pay a visit to North Dakota.
EWU hasn't been able to get into a rhythm this season, as it has yet to win
back-to-back games at any point on its way to a 4-12 overall record. Things
haven't been looking any better since the start of Big Sky play, as it has
dropped four of its six conference bouts.
The Eagles hosted Sacramento State last Saturday and were handed a 60-53
defeat in a defensive struggle. They shot just 39.6 percent from the floor
(including 7-of-22 from 3-point range), and tied their season-low for points
in a game this season. Kevin Winford tallied 12 points and six assists in the
setback, Venky Jois added 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while
Martin Seiferth also finished with 10 points.
North Dakota's first season as a member of the Big Sky has not been a very
memorable one in the standings, as it sits with just a 5-10 overall record and
a 2-4 mark in conference. The team has been playing much better of late
however, winning three of its last five contests.
North Dakota took on Montana State at home last Saturday and came away with an
86-73 victory. It put together arguably its most impressive all-around effort
of the campaign, as it outshot MSU from the field, 52.8 percent to 41.7
percent, and converted 20-of-27 from the free-throw line. Jamal Webb had a
career-game, shooting 9-of-11 from the field (5-of-5 from 3-point range) for
23 points while also dishing out seven assists. Aaron Anderson and Troy Huff
also put up 20 points, and it was the first time this season UND had multiple
20-point scorers in the same game.
Each team has won one game in the all-time series, and this is the first
meeting since 1982.
EWU has had little problem putting points on the board this season, as it puts
up a respectably 69.8 ppg, but it has not fared well at the defensive end in
yielding the second-most points in the conference (76.9 ppg). Leading the way
for the Eagles is Justin Crosgile, who tallies 14.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 5.5 apg,
although he shoots just 35.6 percent from the field. Jois has been much more
efficient from the floor (.500), and he is one of the league's best big men,
contributing 13.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 2.1 bpg. Collin Chiverton rounds out the
double-digit scorers with 10.9 ppg.
The offensive output for North Dakota this season has been far from
consistent, as it shoots just 40.2 percent from the field for 65.6 ppg. Huff
missed the first eight games of the season, and his return to the lineup has
been a big reason for its turnaround in the win column, as he tallies 16.3 ppg
and 7.0 rpg. Anderson (13.5 ppg) is the only player to have started all 15
games, and Webb chips in 9.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg and a league-best 2.2
steals per contest.
As bad as EWU has been this season, it has been at its worst away from home,
losing all seven of its true road games. North Dakota's season has been
looking up of late, and it should be able to outlast the Eagles in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota 68, Eastern Washington 63
01/17 10:36:45 ET
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