Losing streak at 8 for men’s basketball team

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern men’s basketball team continued its struggles in conference play Saturday with a 75-44 road loss against Southeast Missouri.

The 31-point defeat was the Panther’s biggest loss this season. It was also their first loss by more than 30 points since Jan. 4, 2020 against Belmont, an 87-55 contest.

Eastern’s losing streak is now at 8 games, all of which have come in conference play. It is the longest losing streak for the program since a 12-game skid in the 2012-13 season, the first season that Jay Spoonhour was the Panthers’ head coach.

The streak has sunk the Panthers to 10th place in the OVC with a conference record of 2-9. For Southeast Missouri, the win has them tied for seventh with a conference record of 4-6.

Eastern was short-handed again against the Redhawks with just nine players available. The Panthers had just seven players available in the previous two games.

The undermanned Eastern offense was unable to get anything going in the first half despite the game being tied at 8 early on.

The Panthers shot just 6-of-27 from the field in the opening half and were outscored 38-20 by the Redhawks, who shot 12-of-27 in the half.

Southeast Missouri remained consistent in the second half as well, 37 points while shooting 15-of-30.

Eastern shot slightly better after halftime, going 8-of-26 from the field and scoring 24 points.

The Redhawks dominated Eastern inside, scoring 32 points in the paint compared the Eastern’s 2 and outrebounding the Panthers 50-25.

Each team turned the ball over 15 times, but Southeast Missouri was able to turn those turnovers into 20 points while Eastern scored only 6 points off of turnovers.

Eastern senior guard Josiah Wallace was the only player to score in double figures for the Panthers with 11 points. He also led the team with 5 rebounds.

Four Southeast Missouri players scored in double figures, led by junior guard Nana Akenten with 13.

Eastern will try to snap its losing streak with three games this week.

They play Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Tuesday on the road before returning home to play Belmont Thursday and Tennessee-State Saturday.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]