Spoonhour stresses defense after home opener

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Spoonhour stresses defense after home opener

Junior forward Trae Anderson goes for a layup against Eureka College on Monday in Lantz Arena. The Panthers won 81-51.

Junior forward Trae Anderson goes for a layup against Eureka College on Monday in Lantz Arena. The Panthers won 81-51.

Jason Howell

Junior forward Trae Anderson goes for a layup against Eureka College on Monday in Lantz Arena. The Panthers won 81-51.

Jason Howell

Jason Howell

Junior forward Trae Anderson goes for a layup against Eureka College on Monday in Lantz Arena. The Panthers won 81-51.

Blake Nash, Staff Reporter

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In sports, the phrase “numbers never lie,” often rings true.

However, that hasn’t been the case for the Eastern men’s basketball team, as the Panthers were victorious in their 81-51 victory over NAIA foe Eureka College on Monday night.

Even though numbers showed the Panthers played better defense on Monday, coach Jay Spoonhour disagreed and said the Panthers were more efficient a week ago against Saint Francis.

“This is where you know you look at the numbers and you think, well we didn’t guard as well as last game and I don’t think that is true,” Spoonhour said. “I thought we guarded really well last game, they (St. Francis) just made shots.”

The Panthers’ defense forced Eureka to hit only 25.4 percent of their shots, a week after an 85-54 victory over St. Francis, saw the Panthers pressure the Saints offense to hitting 33.9 percent overall, and 38.5 percent and 10 of 16 from three point range.

During the postgame interview, Spoonhour said that he didn’t like his team’s energy, even though at times he enjoyed it.

“I just didn’t like our energy, but there were times when I did like it,” Spoonhour said. “It depended on which matchups and lineups we had.” One player who showed energy and pleased Spoonhour was senior forward Keenen Anderson.

“Some of them were really good. Keenen was really good, but there were some people who didn’t have any bounce in their step away from the ball,” Spoonhour said. “Against a team like that, you have to stay in your position all the time because the guys that are away from the ball are the guys coming off making shots.”

Anderson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes of action. We’re were moving guys in and out a lot, but we’re doing that because we’ve got five games in the next 12 days,” Spoonhour said.

Tennessee-Martin wins after comeback

Down by 19 points early in the second half and on the road, Tennessee-Martin staged a huge comeback to shock Arkansas State for a 75-73 victory over the Red Wolves.

The win gave first year coach Heath Schroyer his first win for the Skyhawks.

“Our guys just never stopped believing,” Schroyer said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and our guys executed. My hats off to the coaching staff – I couldn’t be happier for the guys on the team, the program and the university.”

Forward Twymond Howard and guard Marshaun Newell combined for a total of 33 points in the second half, alone, to snap a seven-game skid against the perennial Sun Belt Conference powerhouse.

USC spoils Caldwell’s homecoming

Los Angeles native Dwan Caldwell returned to his hometown as a member of the Tennessee Tech basketball team as they took on USC Monday night.

Caldwell tied with counterpart Katin Reinhardt of the Trojans for a game-high 19 points. He also added five offensive rebounds in the 70-58 loss to the Trojans. Tech actually out-rebounded the home squad on the night, pulling down 42 boards to USC’s 33.

The Golden Eagles grabbed 22 boards on the offensive end alone. Tech also had one less turnover than the Trojans.

A late run by the hometown Trojans proved to be enough to hand the Skyhawks its first loss of the 2014-15 season as the Golden Eagles fell to 1-1 on the young season.

For the second-straight game, junior center Charles Jackson notched a double-double, scoring 12 points and crashing the boards for 10 rebounds. He also became the first player in program history to record a double-double through the first two games, in over a decade.

Blake Nash can be reached at 581-5812 or [email protected]