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Eastern Washington (5-7) at Idaho State (4-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 9:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Holt Arena (8,000) -- Pocatello, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: EWU 3-1, ISU 3-1. Away Record: EWU 0-6, ISU 1-4. Neutral Record: EWU 2-0, ISU 0-1. Conference Record: EWU 0-1, ISU 1-0. Series Record: Eastern Washington leads, 40-27.

GAME NOTES: Eastern Washington will close out a rough road trip on Saturday, as the Eagles visit the Idaho State Bengals at Holt Arena for a Big Sky Conference tussle.

The Eagles fell to 0-3 on their four-game trek on Thursday in a hard-fought 74-67 defeat at Weber State. Eastern Washington, which is 0-6 on the road this season, actually scored the game's first 10 points and led by double digits in the second half, only to have Weber State chip away at its deficit and close out the win at the free-throw line down the stretch.

Tyler Harvey matched a career high with 30 points, doing so on 10-of-17 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range and 6-of-6 from the foul line, while Venky Jois added 15 points and seven assists to the losing effort. Harvey has been the Eagles' go-to scorer, as the sophomore is contributing 20.2 ppg to the cause. Jois chips with 12.6 ppg while leading the team in rebounding (7.9 rpg), and Drew Brandon is averaging roughly 11 points and six boards over the first dozen contests.

A fluid offensive tempo will keep the Eagles in a lot of games, but unless they can improve at the defensive end -- foes are averaging 74.9 ppg on 59.2 percent shooting -- they'll be mired in the middle of the conference pecking order all season.

Idaho State, meanwhile, is hoping to end an eight-game skid against the rival Eagles, and this time the Bengals might have the firepower to pull it off.

The Bengals are shooting exceptionally well from behind the arc (.414) this season and continued that trend in Thursday's 87-76 victory over Portland State. Idaho State shot a blistering 9-of-14 from long range and overcame 21 turnovers.

Chris Hansen shot 5-of-9 from long range and finished with 27 points, while Andre Hatchett and Tomas Sanchez registered 24 and 20 points, respectively, to help snap a four-game skid. Hansen and Sanchez are each pouring in over 16 ppg, while Hatchett and Jeffrey Solarin are holding down the frontcourt with a combined 23.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.

If Hansen and Sanchez can keep shooting the lights out from the perimeter, the Bengals can secure their first win over the Eagles since January of 2010. And given EWU's struggles on defense and on the road, it wouldn't be surprising to see it happen.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Idaho State 85, Eastern Washington 75

01/04 10:38:24 ET

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