Green Bay pulls away late, beats Panthers

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor


A 20-5 run by the University of Green Bay men’s basketball team in the final eight minutes of Wednesday night’s game thwarted what could have been a key road win for the Eastern men’s basketball team.

Eastern had a run of its own in the first half extending a 18-2 run, with senior Montell Goodwin scoring 10 of those points.

Green Bay’s run in the second half proved to be the difference maker and resulted in a 59-57 loss for Eastern, making it three-straight losses and six road losses this season.

The Panthers went into the half with a double-digit lead, the largest halftime lead it has had in recent games.

Coach Jay Spoonhour has said more than a few times this season that it is getting to the point where the Panthers need to have things figured out a little more than they do.

The shots stopped falling and the defense could not prevent the Phoenix’s shots from falling. Green Bay out-scored Eastern 33-18 in the second half.

Eastern had the ball with less than a minute to go in the game, but that possession ended with a long three-point try that rimmed out as the shot clock winded down.

Green Bay flew down the court and scored with 21 seconds left on a layup by Sukhjot Bains.

The Panthers and the Phoenix’s were neck-and-neck in the stat categories, but each took care of business in one half better than the other.

Also, somehow, Green Bay was able to pull off the win with just two trips to the free throw line, making just two of them.

Eastern shot 13 free throws and sank seven.

What stands out most about Green Bay being at the line that little, was that the notorious fouler Muusa Dama, who struggles with foul trouble some nights, only had three fouls.

Spoonhour said before the game that it is tough for the Panthers to try and figure things out playing tough games on the road.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, they are back on the road Dec. 16 at South Alabama.

Goodwin led the Panthers with 19 points and Starks, who is the Panthers’ leading scorer for the season, was guarded tough by Green Bay and was limited to six points.

He also only played 17 minutes in the loss.

Tougher guarding and teams realizing the skill set that Starks brings to the table is something to be expected, Spoonhour said before the game.

He added that it is something that he is going to get past.

Eastern dropped its overall record to 2-6 but have 10 days to regroup before going on the road to South Alabama.

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