Men’s basketball traveling to Las Vegas for Global Sports Classic

Blake Nash, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s basketball coach Jay Spoonhour will lead his team into a homecoming, days before Christmas. The Panthers will compete in the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas on Dec. 21 and 22. Spoonhour was the interim head coach at Nevada-Las Vegas at the end of the 2004 season.

The Panthers have already played one game as part of the tournament. They were defeated by Marshall last Wednesday by a score of 82-76. The second game of the tournament will be at Houston on Saturday. Both Marshall and Houston were selected as host schools for preliminary games, which enabled them to host two tournament games on their home court.

The host teams will compete against each other when the Vegas round begins. These teams include Grand Canyon, Wyoming, Marshall and Houston. Eastern’s visitors’ bracket includes North Carolina Central, Southern and Omaha.

It has been three years since this tournament took place. Cincinnati won the last one in 2012, defeating Oregon and host UNLV for the title. The tournament committee chose eight teams that have never competed in previous tournaments.

Marshall will face Wyoming on Monday, Dec. 21, followed by Grand Canyon facing Houston.

In Eastern’s bracket, the Panthers will face Omaha on the Dec. 21, with the outcome determining who they will play on Dec. 22.

So far the game has not been selected to appear on a particular television network. Hit Mix will continue carrying games throughout the holiday break, which will be the most likely option to follow the tournament.

The final game of the tournament will put the Panthers against a familiar opponent. Eastern faced North Carolina Central and Southern in last year’s Emerald Classic in Florida. A 65-40 loss to NC Central was followed by a 54-43 victory over Southern.

The games will held at the Cox Pavillion, which is the home of the UNLV women’s team.


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