Less than two days after Eastern Washington closed its men's basketball season with a 79-70 loss to Weber State in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference tournament, the Eagles fired coach Kirk Earlywine.
Some names to surface as potential candidates to replace Earlywine are Tacoma Community College coach Carl Howell, a former EWU assistant; Whitworth coach Jim Hayford; Washington State assistant Jeff Hironaka; Seattle Pacific coach Ryan Looney; and Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti, who was EWU’s coach from 2000-2004 and led the Eagles to their only NCAA appearance in 2004.
Earlywine went 42-78 overall and 24-40 in conference in four seasons.
Skylar Diggins scored 19 points to help No. 10 Notre Dame (26-6) beat No. 9 DePaul (27-6), 71-67, in the semifinals of the Big East tournament in Hartford, Conn. ... Maya Moore scored 22 points as No. 1 Connecticut (31-1) tallied a 75-51 win over Rutgers (19-12) in the other semifinal. ... Tournament MVP Ta’Shia Phillips scored 26 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:31 to play, and No. 5 Xavier (28-2) pulled away in the closing minutes for a 67-60 win over Dayton (21-11) in the Atlantic 10 tournament title game in Lowell, Mass. ... Paige Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left that helped Samford (25-7) make the NCAA tournament for the first time, beating Appalachian State, 57-54, to win the Southern Conference tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn. ... Erica Allenspach scored 21 points and No. 19 Marist (30-2) clinched an NCAA tournament bid for the sixth season in a row with a 63-45 victory over 20-12 Loyola (Md.) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in Bridgeport, Conn.
Texas Tech fired Pat Knight, son of legendary Bob Knight, after three disappointing seasons and a 50-60 record. ... Frank Hassell scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Old Dominion (27-6) withstood a second-half rally by Virginia Commonwealth (23-11) to defend its Colonial Athletic Association tournament title with a 70-65 win in Richmond, Va. ... Jeron Belin scored 17 points and St. Peter’s (20-13) beat Iona, 62-57, to win the MAAC tournament in Bridgeport, Conn., to secure the school’s first NCAA berth in 16 years. ... San Jose State women’s coach Pam DeCosta resigned.