MEN STUN HAWAII PACIFIC

November 24, 2003 12:00 am

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Eastern men rode some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch to hold off NCAA Div. II Hawaii Pacific Saturday night 90-85.

Eastern went 10-for-10 from the line in the final 3:36 to ice the game as the Sea Warriors tried to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit.

"It was a real solid, great win for us, beating a Division II team," said coach Art Furman. He said it's been many years since Eastern beat a Div. II team, and that Hawaii Pacific is a solid program that won 18 games last year.

For the game, Eastern shot 27-for-31 (87 percent) from the line. Tyree Jones, who led the Mountaineers with 24 points and 10 assists, was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.

"He showed great decision-making, and he did a job on (Hawaii's Marvin) Nobles. He scored 19, but (Jones) made him work for it," said Furman.

Eastern evened its record at 1-1, splitting two games at the AT&T Alascom Jamboree.

The Mountaineers had trouble on the boards in their opening game loss to Alaska-Anchorage. They improved in the Hawaii Pacific game, as they were outrebounded only 46-40.

However, one negative to the win is that the Mountaineers did give up 20 offensive boards to the Sea Warriors. Hawaii Pacific took 15 more shots than Eastern because of the advantage in the offensive rebounds.

In addition to Jones' 24 points, Bryan Rabas had his second straight good game from outside. Rabas shot 6-for-13 from beyond the three-point arc and finished with 21 points. He is now 11-for-23 (48 percent) from three-point range.

Jason Crawley and Reagan Gilbertson each had 14 points. Gilbertson was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and 4-for-4 from the field. Crawley, meanwhile, led the team with seven rebounds.

Eastern held a lead of 64-51 with 13:42 to go, but Hawaii Pacific rallied behind four three-pointers to cut the lead to 74-72 with 5:23 left in the game.

That was the closest Hawaii Pacific got as Eastern responded with clutch shooting, maintaining a three- to five-point lead the rest of the game.

Crawley made three buckets down the stretch and was 2-for-2 from the line as he scored eight out of his 14 in the final five minutes.

Jones shot 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minutes, while Luper also shot 2-for-2 from the charity stripe in the final 70 seconds.

The Eastern men next play Saturday, traveling to Boise to take on Div. I-A Boise State.

— Pierre LaBossire

Hawaii Pacific (85)

Jay Bussey 6-9 0-0 12, Kapena O'Neal 0-1 1-2 1, Albert Tecul 6-9 4-6 18, Marvin Noble 8-16 0-0 19, Aaron Abrams 5-20 7-10 18, Dante Sykes 0-3 1-2 1, Alex Jakovljevic 0-4 2-2 2, Drazen Minic 4-10 4-4 12, Audrius Peciukas 0-4 2-2 2, Mike Baron 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 29-77 21-28 85.

Eastern Oregon (90)

Tony Luper 1-4 2-2 4, Jason Crawley 5-9 4-4 14, Bryan Rabas 7-14 1-2 21, Tyree Jones 6-15 9-9 24, Kevin Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Seth Pennington 1-2 0-0 2, Damian Browne 0-2 1-2 1, Brock Canady 1-5 2-4 4, Konrad Bomberger 2-4 2-2 6. Totals: 27-62 27-31 90.

Halftime score — EOU 45, HP 35. Three-pointers — HP 6-18 (Bussey 0-2, Tecul 2-2, Noble 3-5, Abrams 1-7, Jakovljevic 0-2), EOU 9-26 (Crawley 0-1, Rabas 6-13, Jones 3-7, Johnson 0-3, Pennington 0-1, Canady 0-1). Fouled out — None. Total fouls — HP 25, EOU 21. Technical fouls — None. Turnovers — HP 14, EOU 18. Rebounds — HP 46 (Bussey 11), EOU 40 (Crawley 7). Assists — HP 17 (Noble 6), EOU 17 (Jones 10).