Eastern fails to reach foul-line enough in loss

Maher Kawash, Men's Basketball Reporter


After scoring over 80 points in its last game the Eastern men’s basketball team was held to 71 against Tennessee-Martin and that was with an additional two overtime periods played.

It was once again early foul trouble that plagued the Panthers as Ray Crossland and Muusa Dama were limited because of it, and the offense overall was stunted in the 82-71 overtime loss.

Heading into the matchup it seemed like the perfect matchup for Eastern’s offense to get that complete game it has been looking for, but instead it was the complete opposite.

The Panthers shot 28 3-pointers but made just five as they continue to struggle from deep.

But the poor shooting was ignited in a way with Dama, Eastern’s most dominant force down low, held out of action because of foul trouble.

In a time where the Panthers needed all phases of their offense, it became somewhat one- dimensional.

Along with the 17 percent three-point shooting came 39 percent of their makes from everywhere else, but Eastern’s defense kept them in it.

Ironically, the Panthers defense is what has struggled in the past two games when it comes down to the wire and getting stops.

This time around, it seemed like the exact opposite as the Panthers were tied with UT-Martin at 58 heading into overtime.

There was not much success on offense for most players, as two of Eastern’s leading scorers Demetrius McReynolds and Terrell Lewis combined to make just six of their 20 shots from the field.

The Panthers did have a late spark by a veteran off the bench as Pat Muldoon came in to replace Dama by scoring 14 points as well as a last minute shot to tie the game.

Eastern’s top scorer Montell Goodwin did finish with 20 points but also finished 1-10 from behind the arch.

The Panthers ability to score from deep has become almost non-existent in this losing streak, and that is not saying they are taking bad shots.

Losing guys like Crossland and Dama who usually find their way to the rim clearly proves to be the difference, and that made it much easier to contain McReynolds who does most of his work down low.

The Panthers now drop to 1-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference after entering the season projected to finish third.

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