No. 14 Eastern Washington Eagles vs No. 3 Seton Hall Pirates
As previously mentioned Lunardi had Seton Hall opening the tournament in Albany, NY. They would have faced Eastern Washington, champions of the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles had a 23-8 record this season including 16-4 in conference play, to edge out Northern Colorado by a game.
EWU was led by guard Jacob Davison‘s 18.4 points per game (PPG). 6-7 Swingman Kim Aiken Jr. led the Eagles in rebounding at 9.7 RPG and chipped in a third-best 13.3 PPG. Australian big man Mason Peatling finished second in each with 17.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He also led in blocks (1.5) and was second in assists with 3.2 per game.
Seton Hall jumped out to an early lead as guard Jared Rhoden knocked down the first shot of the game, a three-pointer. From there it was all downhill for The Hall as EWU never got closer. They just turned on the jet engines and ran Eastern Washington off the court. David wasn’t going to knock off Goliath on this day.
As expected Powell dominated the game. EWU might have a few good players but none were in Myles Powell’s class. The senior put the ball up early and often hitting on 10 of 20 from the floor which included three treys (in nine shots). Sandro Mamukelashvili had 16 points and six boards, while point guard Quincy McKnight added 13 points and five assists.
Defense was the big story. EWU shot 46 percent from the floor during the regular season, but Seton Hall held the Eagles to 37 percent, including 27 percent from three-point range. While Peatling had a good game (18 points and 11 rebounds), SHU still won the battle of the boards 43-34.
Final Score: SHU 95 – EWU 70. On to round two.