Eastern Washington’s brutal season-opening stretch is about to come to a close.
At least momentarily.
The Eagles (0-3) are scheduled to play at Stanford (2-1) on Friday night before finally getting a home game against NAIA Walla Walla University.
After that will be trips to Washington State, Southern California and Air Force before a home date with Portland Bible College. The Eagles will then have games at Cal Poly and Washington before opening Big Sky Conference play.
“We knew it was going to be a tough road trip. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, learned a lot about our team,” Eastern Washington coach David Riley said Sunday after an 85-73 loss at Cincinnati. “I’m really excited about the ceiling of this team (and) about where we’re going, but we want to get there sooner than later.”
The Eagles won the Big Sky’s regular-season title last year before being upset in the conference tourney and had to settle for a National Invitation Tournament bid. They opened the campaign with a 101-66 loss at Utah before dropping a 75-64 decision at Ole Miss.
Cedric Coward leads Eastern Washington with 15.3 points per game after scoring a career-high 21 against Cincinnati. Dane Erikstrup averages 10.0 points and Casey Jones and LeJuan Watts both add 9.7, with Watts grabbing a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game.
Stanford won its first two games of the season, against Cal State Northridge and Sacramento State, before losing 89-77 to visiting Santa Clara on Tuesday.
Maxime Raynaud scored a career-high 26 points and Andrej Stojakovic added a career-best 18 for the Cardinal, but they were unable to maintain an early eight-point lead.
“Certainly a disappointing loss,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. “I thought our guys competed, but there’s a different level of physicality that we didn’t have.
“I am concerned about learning from this game first and then we’ll need to develop a game plan (for Eastern Washington). I do know that they play a brand of basketball that’s a little bit unique and different. We’re gonna have to really do a great job of scouting and then the guys need to be able to focus on that game.”
–Field Level Media
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