EASTERN HANGS TOUGH WITH UKRAINE TEAM
The Eastern Oregon men lost to MBC Nikolaev (Ukraine) 85-80 in an exhibition Tuesday in Quinn Coliseum.
"We were flat for the majority of the time," Eastern coach Art Furman said.
MBC Nikolaev shot 65 percent in the first half, while Eastern managed 43 percent from the field.
"They shot the lights out," Furman said.
MBC Nikolaev led 55-41 at the half.
The Mountaineers made the game close with 1:46 left. Brock Canady muscled his way into the paint and scored to cut the MBC Nikolaev lead to 78-69.
After a missed MBC Nikolaev foul shot, Tyree Jones pushed the ball up the floor. He missed the shot, but the Mountaineers got the ball back after it was poked out of bounds.
Then, Jones passed to Canady on the right, who drained a three with 39.8 seconds left. The Mountaineers trailed 79-72.
Jones hit back-to-back threes as the Mountaineers trailed 83-80 with four seconds left.
Two MBC Nikolaev foul shots put the game out of reach at the end.
MBC Nikolaev coach Valentin Berestnyev said via an interpreter that the win was important because the team had won one game in the last three U.S. tours, and this year it has two wins. The team's other win this year was over Linfield.
MBC Nikolaev is on a 10-day, eight-game tour through the Pacific Northwest.
Jones ended up with 29 points and six assists. Jason Crawley had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and one block. Canady had 11 points and six rebounds. Seth Pennington (La Grande High School) had two steals and four rebounds.
Oleksandr Rayevskyy led MBC Nikolaev with 30 points.
The Mountaineers will play the alumni in another exhibition at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.