Eastern Washington to finally tip season against Washington State

Eastern Washington coach Shantay Legans knows how perilous this college basketball season is.

The Eagles, the reigning Big Sky Conference regular-season champions, were scheduled to open their season Wednesday at No. 20 Oregon.

However, that game was scrapped after two Eastern Washington players tested positive for COVID-19 and several others were sidelined due to contact tracing.

“You’re a test away, maybe two tests away from having to sit out 14 days,” Legans told KREM-TV in Spokane, Wash. “If you have to sit out 14 days, you might have to miss two, three, four games. We’re always willing to go play whoever we can whenever we can.”

The Eagles are now scheduled to open their season Saturday night against Washington State (1-0) in Pullman, Wash.

“We’ve talked to so many teams,” Legans said of trying to schedule some nonconference games. “Every team on the West Coast, we’ve tried everything, all California schools. Every school you could think of we reached out to.

“It just makes it easier if it’s close, like going to go play UW or Seattle. You can just go get on a bus and go play them. That’s something we’d do. We’d do anything to get to seven games, five games, however many we can play.”

The Cougars opened their season Wednesday with a 56-52 home victory against Texas Southern. Isaac Bonton scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half as Washington State rallied from a three-point halftime deficit.

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