Men’s basketball team fails to overcome Green Bay

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Men’s basketball team fails to overcome Green Bay

A.J. Riley, a junior guard, attempts a layup Saturday during the game against Green Bay. The Panthers lost 81-72 and will face Indiana State on Tuesday.

A.J. Riley, a junior guard, attempts a layup Saturday during the game against Green Bay. The Panthers lost 81-72 and will face Indiana State on Tuesday.

Dominic Baima

A.J. Riley, a junior guard, attempts a layup Saturday during the game against Green Bay. The Panthers lost 81-72 and will face Indiana State on Tuesday.

Dominic Baima

Dominic Baima

A.J. Riley, a junior guard, attempts a layup Saturday during the game against Green Bay. The Panthers lost 81-72 and will face Indiana State on Tuesday.

Blake Nash, Assistant Sports Editor

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Through 30 minutes of Saturday’s game against Green Bay, the Eastern men’s basketball team was in control of the game. Junior transfer AJ Riley scored on a layup with 16:21 to play in the second half, which gave Eastern its biggest lead of the game at 10.

But a 17-7 run by the Phoenix gave them a 50-49 lead with 9:47 to play in the game. Eastern was able to regain the lead when freshman forward Patrick Muldoon added a layup of his own, but a three pointer by Tevin Findlay sank a three pointer that was the beginning of the end of the game, which Green Bay won 81-72.

Riley led the Panthers with 25 points and made 8-of-11 shots from the free throw line. He has been Eastern’s leading scorer in three of the first four games of the season. As a team, Eastern was 19-of-26 from the line while the Phoenix were 22-of-39.

Senior wing Trae Anderson added 14 points and six rebounds, recording more rebounds on Saturday than he has in the first three games. He grabbed two boards apiece at Indiana and Ball State and did not record a rebound against Western Illinois, a game that he fouled out of.

Junior transfer Demetrius McReynolds recorded his first double-double at the Division 1 level, with 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first time that an Eastern player recorded a double-double this season. Eastern is 0-4 to start the season.

Coach Jay Spoonhour said that it has been a challenge replacing departed seniors with a young squad, but that he is looking for steady improvement in the early games of the season.

“You’re not going to lose six seniors and replace them with five freshmen,” Spoonhour said. “What I really want from these guys, is that they play hard and listen. If we can steal a couple of wins early, we might have a chance come February.”

Green Bay came into Charleston having won its last two games and left with a 3-3 record. Four Phoenix players reached double figure scoring, including senior guard Jordan Fouse who recorded a double-double. Fouse recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds while adding three steals and two blocked shots.

Fellow senior and backcourt mate Carrington Love led Green Bay with 25 points, and added six rebounds and four steals. The Phoenix forced 21 Panther turnovers, and scored 25 points off of them. Eastern forced 17 turnovers, while scoring 15 points off those turnovers.

Findlay, who hit the three that started a late Green Bay run, totaled 10 points and was 2-of-2 from three-point range. McReynolds was the only other player to match him in shooting beyond the arc, going 2-of-5.

Sophomore point guard Khalil Small totaled 13 points, including a 4-for-6 performance from the foul line. Green was 22-of-39 from the foul line, while Eastern was 19-of-26.

The Panthers will continue their home stretch Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when they host Indiana State. The Sycamores are 3-2, and have won three of their last four games.

 

Blake Nash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]