Opinion: Panthers lose another heartbreaker on last shot

Maher Kawash, Men's Basketball Reporter


The Eastern men’s basketball team has no doubt had its fair share of tough games to start the season, but Wednesday night offered a break from that.

Yes, the Panthers were on the road again, and that is never an easy task in college basketball, but it resulted in another game that just got away.

A 59-57 loss to Green Bay marks the fifth game this season in which Eastern has lost by four points or less.

When taking that into consideration, the Panthers have plenty of upsides to be happy about.

But then again, there is plenty of work to be done as Eastern must figure out how to put together complete games to result into wins.

It is one thing to have a game slip away against some more elite opponents, such as the losses that have come against teams like Marquette or Nebraska.

There is a sense of optimism in barely losing to a team that is from a power-five conference.

But at a certain point the team cannot maintain that mindset as games like the one against Green Bay offer up a must-win feel.

It is still far too early into the season to actually consider that though, but it is also deep enough to search for more out of this team.

There is all the potential in having four returning starters, combined with seven newcomers who offer up several different skills to a lineup.

But when will it all come together?

It seemed like it was complete to start the season, but that came unexpectedly in an exhibition against Illinois.

Since then, the Panthers offer glimpses of what could be and falter in some important stretch es.

It is time for all of that to mesh together as the team sparked its peak at times against Green Bay such as Montell Goodwin dropping 19 points.

Jay Spoonhour said ahead of the game that eventually his team has to win, and that may have not come as expected Wednesday night but the good news is there are plenty of chances to come ahead of Ohio Valley Conference play.

The Panthers will have to tough another one out on the road, when they have struggled mightily with all six of their losses coming away from Lantz Arena.

South Alabama offers the chance for Eastern to bring a complete game together before heading back home for two last non-conference matches ahead of the OVC slate.

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