Eastern Washington men’s basketball is heading to the east coast for the Thanksgiving weekend to compete in the Florida International Tournament in Miami, Fla. Eastern will begin its tournament against Stony Brook on Friday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The Eagles then battle the host school, Florida International, on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.
The game against FIU will be streamed live on ConferenceUSA.com, and live stats will be available for both games through FIUSports.com. Listen to both games live on 700-AM ESPN/105.3 FM with Larry Weir on the call.
Last Time Out
Eastern Washington hosted Washington State at the Spokane Arena on Monday (Nov. 21). The Cougars led after the first half, 36-21 and won the game, 82-56. Eastern had a 31.1 shooting percentage in the game with WSU hitting nearly half of its shots at 48.4 percent. The Cougars were also 15-of-30(50%) from three-point range.
Steele Venters led the Eagles with 20 points on 7-of-15(71.4%) shooting and returned to his old self with a 5-of-7(71.4%) night from behind the arc. Ethan Price had 11 points and five rebounds in the game.
Despite Eastern only committing nine turnovers, WSU scored 15 points off of them. The Eagles scored four points off of six Cougar turnovers.
A Look at the Eagles
Eastern Washington is 1-4 to start the season, with a 0-2 road record and 1-1 in neutral site games. The Eagles defense has been effective in against opposing shooters, allowing a 42.2 percent mark from the floor to rank third in the Big Sky. After struggling on the boards in the first two games of the season, Eastern has improved with a plus-27 rebound margin in the past three games. The Eagles rank fourth in the Big Sky with 36.8 combined team rebounds per game and leads with 28.2 defensive rebounds per game. Additionally, the defense in the paint has been active, ranking third in the conference with 3.20 blocks per game, with 16 total on the season.
Ethan Price averages 7.0 rebounds per game to rank seventh in the conference. Price is also leading the Big Sky with seven blocks, getting 1.4 per game.
As a team, Eastern is averaging 59.8 points per game. A pair of veterans lead the Eagles in scoring as Steele Venters is top threat with 10.4 points per game and Angelo Allegri is nearly in double figures with a 9.8 average. Venters ranks 24th in the Big Sky in scoring. Allegri leads the team with 13 assists this season.
Casey Jones is 13th in the conference with 5.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore also contributes 6.8 points per game.
Tyreese Davis has been a steady shooter for the Eagles, shooting 47.6 percent from the floor. Davis is averaging 7.8 points per game.
Cedric Coward has five steals this season to rank 18th in the conference and he averages 6.2 points per game.
Scouting the Sea Wolves
Stony Brook is 1-4 on the season, going 0-4 in road games and 1-0 at home. The Sea Wolves lost to Florida International on Wednesday (Nov. 23), in an 83-50 result. The team defeated Miami Hamilton , 86-65, while dropping games to Florida(45-81), Rhode Island(64-74) and Brown(53-64). This season, Stony Brook averages 59.6 points per game and allowing opponents to score 73.4.
The Sea Wolves have a 38.8 shooting percentage, while allowing opponents a 42.9 percentage.
Stony Brook boasts three players averaging in double figures, led by senior guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore with 12.6 points per game. Junior forward Kenan Sarven and graduate-student center Keenan Fitzmorris average 11.0 and 10.0 points per game respectively.
Friday’s game will be the first meeting between Eastern Washington and Stony Brook.
Scouting the Panthers
Florida International is 3-2 on the season, going 3-1 at home and 0-1 on the road. The Panthers defeated Stony Brook 83-50 in the team’s last game. FIU defeated Houstin Christian University(77-66) and Florida National University(95-74). The team lost to North Carolina State(74-107) and Bryant University(85-91).
The offense has been a source of success for the Panthers, as the team is averaging 82.8 points per game. FIU allows 77.6 points per game to opponents.
Carrying the load for the Panthers is sophomore guard Denver Jones who is averaging 20.4 points per game, while shooting an eye-opening 62.7 percent on field goals. Complementing Jones is freshman guard Arturo Dean who averages 13.0 points per game and is shooting 51.0 percent from the floor. Arturo is also second on the team with 17 assists.
Eastern will play Florida International for the first time in program history on Sunday.
Eastern Washington will host its first true home game on Wednesday, Nov. 30 against Norwest University. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific Time from Reese Court.