Mens basketball team falls to Belmont

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Dominic Baima

Junior Guard Demetrius McReynolds scored seven points during the panthers’ 66-61 loss to Tennessee State on Wednesday in Lantz Arena

Maher Kawash, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s basketball team lost its second consecutive game 85-59 on Saturday against Belmont.

The Panthers fell behind early in the game as the Bruins opened with an 18-3 run. Eastern found its way back with a 9-2 run to end the first half tied at 36.

“We were in a pretty good position most of the game,” coach Jay Spoonhour said. “We missed about three shots in a row right at the basket, and we did not react real well to the missed opportunities.”

The Panthers struggled to defend the three-point line as Craig Bradshaw of the Bruins made four of his eight attempts in the first half. He finished with 14 points in the game.

Not only did the Bruins have their way from beyond the arc, but Evan Bradds found his way inside the paint as well.

“The game went from 6 to 15 awfully quick,” Spoonhour said.

Bradds scored 22 points while going 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Eastern had a few bright spots in the loss as junior guard A.J Riley scored 20 points, and senior Trae Anderson added 13 of his own.

The Panthers struggled all night to find their stroke resulting in a 37 percent field goal percentage.

Things were even more difficult for the Panthers from behind the three-point line as they shot 27 percent.

“That’s just what Belmont does to you,” Spoonhour said. “There is constant pressure to continue to match their scoring throughout the game.”

With the loss, Eastern dropped to 1-3 in Ohio Valley Conference play and 4-12 overall in the season.

The Panthers continue to look to hit their stride heading into the most crucial part of the season with more conference games ahead.

“We’ll have a good view of where we stand in this league after Saturday,” Spoonhour said.

The loss to Belmont was the Panther’s 7th

Freshman guard Casey Teson scored six points during the Panther's 66-61 loss against Tennessee State Wednesday in Lantz Arena.
Freshman guard Casey Teson scored six points during the Panther’s 66-61 loss against Tennessee State Wednesday in Lantz Arena.

road loss of the season as they continue to struggle on the road.

“We have good players, many of whom are in their first year,” Spoonhour said. “It has just taken them a little longer than I’d hoped to put themselves in a position to make winning plays all the time.”

The Panthers return to Lantz Arena for their next two games against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State this week.

“I’m just looking for constant improvement,” Spoonhour said. “I think we’ve done that, but it hasn’t necessarily been at the pace I’d like.”

Eastern will search for its fifth win of the season as they also look to end their two game losing streak.

“This is a huge week for us,” Spoonhour said. “Three of our first four OVC games have been on the road, but now we have two in a row at home, albeit against two really good teams.”

 

Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]