Men’s basketball team defeats Indiana State

Panthers now 1-0 overall

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Men’s basketball team defeats Indiana State

Senior wing Trae Anderson scored 12 points during the Panthers' 66-62 win over Indiana State on Tuesday at Lantz Arena.

Senior wing Trae Anderson scored 12 points during the Panthers' 66-62 win over Indiana State on Tuesday at Lantz Arena.

Jason Howell

Senior wing Trae Anderson scored 12 points during the Panthers' 66-62 win over Indiana State on Tuesday at Lantz Arena.

Jason Howell

Jason Howell

Senior wing Trae Anderson scored 12 points during the Panthers' 66-62 win over Indiana State on Tuesday at Lantz Arena.

Blake Nash, Assistant Sports Editor

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When Eastern men’s basketball coach Jay Spoonhour talked earlier this week about his team’s performance, the phrase “complete game” often came up. In the first two games of their recent home stand, the Panthers led at halftime, but lost. It was a different story on Tuesday when Eastern defeated Indiana State 68-62.

The Panthers led at the half 27-23, behind forward Trae Anderson’s 10 points. Anderson gave the Panthers some life in the post as Indiana State’s defense made it difficult for them to get the ball inside early. Once Anderson found his stride the team did as well.

“They got after us the first 11 minutes. They were good,” Spoonhour said. “Tonight Trae (Anderson) helped us win because he played hard and got after some rebounds.”

Anderson finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds, equaling his rebounding total from the last game against Green Bay. Freshman guard Casey Teson was the Panthers’ leading scorer and found his comfort zone at the three-point line.

Teson was 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, finishing with a season-high 18 points. Four of his threes came in the second half in which the Panthers shot 8-of-14 from three-point range. Junior Demetrius McReynolds and freshman Lucas Jones added two and one 3-pointer respectively, in the second half. Teson said that when the defense collapsed on Anderson in the first half, it gave Eastern’s shooters more room on the perimeter.

“Once we got it down to Trae, they just sort of collapsed on him and he kicked it out to us,” Teson said. “We all started knocking down our shots and that’s what helped us.”

Junior AJ Riley also reached double-figure scoring with 10 points. Riley has accomplished that feat in three of the first five games of the season. He also had three assists and two steals. Defensively, the Panthers forced 15 Indiana State turnovers and finished with six steals.

The Panthers’ defense was able to grab 23 rebounds, giving them a total of 35 for the game. The 12 offensive rebounds resulted in 14 second-chance points for Eastern, which also scored 20 points off turnovers.

“We were really guarding well in the first half,” Spoonhour said. “We strung some stops together and grabbed some rebounds, and to me that’s the biggest deal.”

Indiana State also had three players reach double figure scoring. Devonte Brown led the Sycamores with 22 points. Fellow guards Brenton Scott and forward Emondre Rickman recorded 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Eastern will now face Northern Kentucky of the Horizon League. The Norse have gotten off to a 1-4 start, similar to the Panthers. They’ll be the second Horizon League opponent Eastern has faced this season and on this home stand.

Eastern fell to Horizon League foe Green Bay 81-72 last Saturday.

Teson said that Tuesday’s victory should give them confidence in future games and practices.

“It’s going to help us out a lot coming down the road,” Teson said. “It should make it more exciting to come to practice and everything.”

The Panthers will host Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Saturday in the final game of this current four-game home stand.

 

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