The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Eastern pulls off late win

Romain Martin made his first collegiate start a memorable one.

Eastern’s freshman guard out of Minneapolis scored a go-ahead layup off a pass from Bobby Catchings with 36 seconds left to allow Eastern to pull out a 63-61 win against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Martin, who had nine first half points on three 3-pointers, collected Catchings pass on the right block and made the layup.

Martin said he was originally going to curl out to the 3-point line and saw he was open so he just stayed under the basket.

“I just went out there and played,” said Martin, who finished with 13 points on five of 13 shooting. “I was already down there . and then I was open. I got it and I just made the layup.

Martin’s basket came after a Mike Robinson steal when UWGB was trying to inbounds the ball after Robinson made two free throws to cut UWGB’s lead to 60-59.

Robinson, while falling out of bounds, passed it to Eastern’s Billy Parrish underneath Eastern’s basket.

But Phoenix forward Terry Evans blocked Parrish’s layup attempt, and blocked Parrish’s second attempt. The ball came out to Catchings, who found Martin under the basket for the layup.

“He’s starting to come on,” said Eastern head coach Mike Miller about Martin. “I think when young guys get out there and they can have a little success, it propels them into some more success.”

After Martin’s layup, UWGB came down and had three shot attempts at the basket before Catchings gathered in a rebound. Catchings went down and made two free throws to push the lead to 63-60 with 4.6 seconds left.

The Phoenix inbounded the ball to its best player, guard Ryan Evanochko at midcourt, where Robinson was guarding him. Robinson fouled Evanochko with 0.7 seconds remaining, which sent Evanochko to shoot two free throws.

Evanochko, who finished with a game-high 19 points, all in the second half, made the first one.

Evanochko then missed the second one on purpose, to the right, and freshman center Ousmane Cisse pulled down the rebound and secured the win.

Cisse and Martin both made their first collegiate starts and both made key plays.

Miller said the reason for the lineup change was to try and get some of his players on track and to also have different combinations of players on the floor.

“I think we’ve got a team that throughout the year that can change,” he said. “From game-to-game, we can start different people depending on matchups.”

Eastern limited Evanochko in the first half, holding him to zero points and forcing three turnovers.

However, the Panthers couldn’t contain him much in the second half.

The senior and preseason All-Horizon first team selection, carried the Phoenix in the second half, scoring the final seven UWGB points.

“He’s legit,” Miller said. “He’s an outstanding mid-range player. We knew he was a tough matchup.”

That tough matchup didn’t prove to be true for UWGB in the first half, with Robinson and the rest of Eastern’s defense blanketing every move Evanochko made.

“I just got up in him and tried to take away a lot of his ball screens,” Robinson said. “The big men did a good job of (taking away the ball screens) and pushing him out to the three-point line and making him take shots he didn’t want to take.”

Eastern helped off its other men to contain Evanochko and switched ball screens on the perimeter, with sometimes post players like Ousmane Cisse and Jake Byrne guarding him.

The plan to switch on Evanochko was part of Eastern’s plan coming into the game, Miller said.

Eastern started off slow, trailing 6-0 two minutes in. But the Panthers went on a 16-5 run in the next six minutes to take a 16-11 lead.

Shortly after taking a five-point lead, UWGB went on a 11-0 run in a span of five minutes to go ahead 22-16

After Parrish made two free throws, Martin cut Eastern’s deficit to one with his second 3-pointer of the half.

A Martin 3-pointer at the end of the first half sent Eastern into the locker room with a 33-28 lead.

The Panthers return to action Saturday with their first Ohio Valley Conference game at Murray State.

Eastern pulls off late win

Eastern pulls off late win

Freshman guard Romain Martin attemps a layup in the first half of Eastern’s win against Wisconsin Green Bay. Martin finished with 13 points on five of 13 shooting. (Nora Maberry/The Daily Eastern News)


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