Game 6: Idaho (3-2) vs. Eastern Washington (2-2)
When: November 30, 2011 (8:05 p.m. PT)
Where: Moscow, Idaho (Memorial Gym)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Online Video: VandalXtra
Live Stats: www.GoVandals.com
A Look at the Eagles
Eastern Washington is 3-2 overall and enters the week on a roll after back-to-back wins at Hawai`i (89-72) and at home against UC Davis (79-59). EWU’s two losses came at Gonzaga and at Oregon by eight points each. The Eagles average 74.4 points on 40.5 percent shooting, including a 35.8 percent clip from 3-point range. They’ve forced their opponents into 17.4 turnovers per game. Junior forward Collin Chiverton leads the team with a 17.0 scoring average, while senior forward Cliff Ederaine posts 12.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Senior guard Cliff Colimon scores 12.6 points and averages 5.4 assists per game for the Eagles.
EWU Head Coach Jim Hayford
Jim Hayford comes to EWU this season after a highly successful 10-year career at Whitworth University, where he posted a 217-57 record, eight 20-win seasons, five Northwest Conference titles and six NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. Before Whitworth, Hayford was the head coach for two seasons at University of Sioux Falls, where he compiled a 37-27 record. He is a 1989 graduate of Azusa Pacific University.
Vandals and Eagles
The Idaho-EWU rivalry dates back to 1905-06, when the Vandals claimed a 39-2 victory at home. Idaho holds a 51-23 all-time edge in the series, including the last two matchups. Between Nov. 28, 1986 and Feb. 17, 1996, Idaho won 22 consecutive games against the Eagles, 16 of which were double-digit margins. Since then, though, EWU has claimed seven wins in the last 12 meetings. The Eagles’ last win in the series was a 69-59 victory at Cheney on Nov. 24, 2008. EWU hasn’t won a game in Moscow since Nov. 30, 2005.
Not Exactly Lighting It Up
Through 74 games in series history between Idaho and Eastern Washington, the winning team has cracked the 70-point barrier just 26 times. There have been 29 games in the series in which neither team reached 60 points.
They were among the league’s top distributors and protectors of the basketball a year ago, and that hasn’t changed for senior guards Landon Tatum and Deremy Geiger. Tatum (5.25) and Geiger (2.29) are 1-2 in the WAC so far this season in assist-to-turnover ratio. Tatum’s average is fifth-best in the NCAA so far this year, while Geiger’s ranks 92nd.
Atop the WAC Pack
Head coach Don Verlin said early in the year that he wanted his preseason All-WAC center Kyle Barone to become a go-to player for the Vandals this year. So far, the junior from Garden Grove, Calif., leads the WAC in field goal percentage (.641), blocked shots (2.4/gm), overall rebounding (10.0/gm) and defensive rebounding (8.0/gm).
Efficient on Both Sides
Idaho has shot better than 50 percent in its last two games, including a WAC-season-best 64.4 percent in the win over Lewis-Clark State on Nov. 23. The team’s 49.4 season field goal percentage is the best in the conference. On the other side of the ball, Idaho has held three of its five opponents below 40 percent shooting and leads the conference with a .384 field goal percentage defense. Helping out that defensive stat is Idaho’s WAC-leading average of 5.20 blocked shots per game.
Click on the PDF link above to view complete game notes.