Eagles leave Hec-Ed sky high, drop Huskies

Reigning Big Sky defensive player of the year and Franklin High product Alvin Snow stole the show in his return to Seattle Saturday afternoon, scoring 24 points and snatching seven steals for Eastern Washington en route to a hard-fought 62-58 victory over Washington at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Snow, who claims he never received a recruiting letter from the UW during his high school days, hit two free throws with 1.7 seconds to put the Eagles up four and ice the game.

The Huskies (2-4) had a decision to make when EWU took control of the ball with a four second differential on the shot clock and game clock. They decided to try to induce a quick shot by playing tough defense and not fouling. The strategy failed when the Eagles missed a shot with five seconds on the game clock and Snow got to the loose ball before any Huskies could.

He got fouled, setting up the dramatic final two shots from the charity stripe. Both swished.

"It was definitely a huge motivation to come back here and kind of stick it to them," said a beaming Snow after the game, referring to his team's victory of the Huskies. "Imagine coming back home to a school that actually kind of disrespected you. I mean, I was Class 4A state player of the year (at Franklin) and they didn't send me a single letter."

Snow's ability to overplay the passing lanes out at the perimeter prevented UW from ever sustaining momentum for long periods of time. On five occasions he raced in front of ill-advised Husky passes and went the distance for easy layins.

"Alvin is our emotional leader," said EWU Coach Ray Giacoletti. "He still has a chip on his shoulder because there wasn't more interest when he came out of high school."

The Huskies had their opportunities in the second half, and again most came with Nate Robinson in the game.

After a rebound and putback from Mike Jensen that gave UW its first tie at 26-26, Snow intercepted a lazy pass by CJ Massingale and took it the other way for an uncontested layin.

"You have to give Alvin a lot of credit," said UW Coach Lorenzo Romar. "He was very disruptive."

A reverse layin by Keith Browne and a deep three-pointer from Snow pushed the Eagles out to a seven-point lead just 2:28 into the second half.

That's when Romar sent Nate-Rob back in the lineup and the Huskies began to rally. On his first possession, Robinson drove the lane and finished with a pretty layin. Then he came down and, without hesitation, nailed a pullup jumper to draw UW to within four.

Soon later, Nate added a three-pointer and a layin off an inbounds steal to knot the score again at 40 with 12:18 remaining in the game.
,br> EWU, led by Snow's 10 points down the stretch, pulled away late to snap the Huskies two-game win streak.

Washington was led by Robinson's 19. Doug Wrenn pitched in 12 on 4-9 shooting, and Will Conroy added 11.

"I felt that as a team we had a lot of momentum heading into this game," said Romar. "It's disappointing to have a letdown."

From the opening tip, which was won by the Eagles, EWU (6-2) took control of the game. It came largely as a result of a Husky offense that couldn't find any rhythm for the first five minutes of the game.

A baby hook from the baseline by Jeffrey Day was Washington's only points for the first 5:45 of the game, giving EWU a chance to break out to an early 8-2 lead.

That's when Romar decided to bring in Robinson, the 5-8 freshman two-sport star who scored 19 last Saturday at Santa Clara. Again, Robinson didn't disappoint, and like he did in his two previous games, sparked the Husky offense.

While starting guards, Conroy and Massingale, failed to get the ball to Wrenn, the junior forward who overcame early season struggles with a breakout performance against Wyoming two games ago, Robinson found him.

Wrenn scored from long range on a three-pointer from the right wing at the 8:29 mark for his first points of the game. That got the ball rolling a bit for the Huskies.

Four more points from Wrenn and a pullup 15-foot jumper from Robinson over Eagles Danny Pariseau pulled the Huskies to within 20-22.

EWU took a slim 26-24 lead to half.

Husky Stats:
Points: Robinson 19, Wrenn 12, Conroy 11, Jensen 8, Day 4, Allen 2, Washington 2

Rebounds: Conroy 6, Jensen 6, Wrenn 5, Day 3, Washington 3, Massingale 2, Robinson 2, Jones 1

Assists: Conroy 2, Allen 1

Steals: Robinson 3, Day 1, Wrenn 1, Jensen 1, Massingale 1, Jones 1, Allen 1, Shelton 1

Blocks: Day 1, Wrenn 1, Jensen 1

Game Notes:
Jazzed up Jensen: Redshirt freshman forward Mike Jensen is starting to show more of an understanding of the game, and played well tonight in a team-high 34 minutes. He not only recorded eight points and six rebounds, he also showed tremendous hustle defensively and had the block of the game midway through the first half on a layin attempt from Tacoma-native Brandon Merritt.

Old Dawgs: Several former Huskies made the trip through the rain outside to Hec Ed. The list included former UW assistant coach Eric Hughes, former center David Dixon, former forward Grant Leep, and former guards Donald Watts, Bryan Brown, Eldridge Recasner and Sterling Brown.

Mississippi Mudflap: Eastern Washington junior center Gregg Smith brought the first mullet to Hec Ed this season. He's a transfer from North Dakota State, where anything other than a mullet is in the minority.

Up Next: The Huskies continue their homestand next Saturday, Dec. 21, versus Florida International. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. The Houston Cougars then come to Seattle Monday, Dec. 23, for a 7:30 p.m. game. That game will be televised on Fox Sports Northwest.

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