By Nick Aconfora/Sports Information Staff
An impressive performance by Eastern turned into a twenty point blowout win in the opening game of the Franklin & Marshall New Year Tournament vs. Salisbury University Wednesday night.
At right: Head Coach Bill Geitner
Although not many expected that Salisbury, which recently beat the No. 1 team in Division III, would get beat down, Eastern thought differently. The Warriors came out on fire as they shot 53.3 percent from the field and 65.2 percent from beyond the arc.
vs. FRANKLIN & MARSHALL -- 7 p.m.
It was a team effort as Head Coach Bill Geitner and his Warriors now head to the tournament championship Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Today Coach Geitner stated, "The guys played very (against Salisbury). I think they understood we were playing a very talented team and needed to be mentally and physically ready to compete for 40 minutes. Obviously, we shot the ball very well. This was due to unselfish play and making the extra pass to the open teammate. Defensively, we did a good job of guarding a very talented team."
Coach Geitner said it: "unselfish play." Eastern has shared the wealth all year long and will need to continue to do so as they take on nationally ranked Franklin & Marshall on its home floor.
When asked about the game, Coach Geitner noted, "Franklin and Marshall is nationally-ranked and the most physical team we have faced. They have great size at every position. It is a great opportunity for us to compete against a perennial national power in a hostile environment. We will need to be very focused and ready for a physical game. This game will only help us as we prepare for our LEC competition."
Coach Geitner and his team have their hands as Franklin & Marshall dominated twice-beaten SUNY Plattsburgh, 71-55. The Warriors will have a close eye on Hayk Gyokchyan who averages 19.2 points per game and just scored forty against SUNY Plattsburgh. The 6-7, 225 pound senior forward is just one of the many big players on this Franklin & Marshall squad.
The Diplomats are physically bigger than Eastern, but something such as size never seems bother the Warriors as they appear to always be mentally stronger than their opponent.
Junior Brian Salzillo will look to stay hot as he scored 25 against Salisbury. Junior Mike Garrow and seniors Chris Robitaille and Joe Ives will try to lead the Warriors throughout and pull off a huge upset on the road. Although the size of the Diplomats will cause problems in the post, Eastern will find a way to make this game close.
Keys for F&M - Let Hayk Gyokchyan go to work and the defensive must guard the perimeter. Gyokchyan dropped 40 last game, so why not feed the him the rock and see what he can do against Eastern? The Warriors can knock down shots from all over, so the Diplomats must lock down the perimeter throughout the game.
Keys for Eastern - "Pick and choose" and hit your shots. Pick and choose who you are going to defend. For instance, shut down Gyokchyan and allow other players to try and step up offensively. F&M will attempt to shut down Eastern from the outside, but it must find a way to find the open man and knock down as many shots as it can.