4 players score in double digits as Panthers beat Western

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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With the help of four players scoring in double digits, the Eastern men’s basketball team was able to pull away from Western for a 63-49 win after a neck-and-neck battle to start the game on Saturday.

The Panthers and the Leathernecks bounced back and forth taking turns tying the game through the first 13 minutes.

But a layup by junior guard Cornell Johnston sent Eastern on a 16-7 run to end the first half. Eastern never trailed again.

Johnston put up 11 points in the first half, but he was held scoreless in the second.

Junior guard Montell Goodwin, junior wing Ray Crossland and junior forward Muusa Dama also scored in double figures.

Dama recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds to go with his 11 points.

The Panthers led by as much as 18 points in the second half and hung on to a double-digit lead for the last 12 minutes of the game.

The win against Western puts the Panthers above .500 on their current road trip.

Eastern went into the game off a loss to Northern Kentucky.

Eastern was able to keep a balanced shooting attack in the game, shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc.

As it has been in each game this year, the rebound totals between the Panthers and Western were close.

The Panthers outrebounded Western 43 to 36, with Dama’s 13 leading the way.

Western has struggled this year and dropped its record to 2-7 as the Panthers improved to 6-4.

Up next for the Panthers will be Missouri to finish off the four–game road trip before playing their final home game before the Ohio Valley Conference portion of their schedule starts.

Through the first 10 games the Panthers have averaged 72.5 points per game and have averaged a shooting percentage of 42.4 percent.

Eastern is also off to a better start this year than it was last year with its 6-4 record compared to a 3-7 start to the 2015 season.

A look at Missouri

Missouri is 5-4 this season and is 4-2 at home.

The Tigers have not played any road games, but played in the 2016 Tire Pros Invitational at a neutral site, where they played some tough competition.

The Tigers took on No. 11 Xavier in the Invitational to open their three games and lost 83-82 in overtime.

Missouri had three players score over 20 points in the game with Frankie Hughes scoring 24, Kevin Puryear scoring 22 and Terrance Phillips scoring 21.

A breakout performance from Hughes is not a common occurrence.

He averages 13.6 points per game, but he is the team’s leading scorer.

Puryear is the team’s leading rebounder with 58 on the year and averages 6.4 rebounds per game.

Eastern and Missouri are set for a 2:30 p.m. tip off Saturday.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]