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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Eastern Washington Clamps Down on Northern Arizona

March 10, 2001|VINCE KOWALICK

Eastern Washington snapped a string of futility in the Big Sky Conference tournament by beating Northern Arizona, 58-53, in a semifinal Friday night at Cal State Northridge.

The Eagles (17-10), who play Northridge tonight in the final, held an opponent to a season-low point total. Eastern Washington leads the Big Sky in defense.

Eastern Washington was 0-3 in tournament games the last three years.

"Defense is something a lot of people talk about, but now we're proving it," Eastern Washington Coach Ray Giacoletti said. "When you see your team play that kind of game, you know as a coach things are starting to sink in."

Jamal Jones scored 15 points and Chris White had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Eagles.

The Lumberjacks closed to within 55-53 on a basket by Casey Grundman with 51 seconds to play.

Jason Lewis' two free throws with 31 seconds leftsealed the victory.

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