Panthers to welcome Redhawks Saturday following road loss to Murray State


Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern head coach Marty Simmons talks to freshman forward Paul Bizimana during a timeout in the Panthers’ game against Murray State on Jan. 17 in Lantz Arena. Eastern lost the game 72-46.

Autumn Schulz, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s basketball team only had seven players available on Thursday evening as they dropped to 2-15 overall after losing to Murray State 91-51. 

COVID-19 health and safety protocols have been cumbersome for the Panthers recently as they only had eight players take the court earlier this week. 

Rebounding remains a consistent issue for the Panthers as they were outrebounded 45-22. The Racers had two players lead the team in rebounding, sophomore forward DJ Burns and junior forward KJ Williams who both had 11 a piece.  

The Racers had three players finish in double figures for scoring. Junior guard Tevin Brown led the way with 16 points. Brown was followed by sophomore guard DaQuan Smith who had 15 points, going 5-of-6 from the three-point range. Senior guard Carter Collins, also in double figures, finished the contest with 10.  

The Panthers ended the game with a 37.5 field goal percentage and a 38.1 three-point percentage. Freshman forward Paul Bizimana led the Panthers Thursday evening with 22 points and four rebounds with 12 of those points coming in the first half.  

The other two top scorers for the Panthers were sophomore guard Dan Luers and junior guard CJ Lane who both finished with 10 points apiece.  

The Panthers will return to Lantz Arena Saturday at 3:30 p.m. to take on Southeast Missouri for their fifth OVC game of the season. 

The Redhawks will be entering the game 7-11 overall and 2-3 in conference play, earning them the fifth spot in the conference. They will also be coming off an 85-63 win over Tennessee State.  

The Redhawks had three players in double figures during their win over the Tigers with redshirt junior Nana Akenten leading the way with 17 points, going 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from the three-point range.  

The Redhawks finished the contest with shooting 64 percent from the free throw line. They are currently sitting at the top of the conference with a 74.2 percent. Sophomore guard DQ Nicholas leads the team with an 84.2 percent.  

The Redhawks are fourth in the conference for scoring offense, averaging 75 points per game. Junior guard Eric Reed Jr. is fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 15.9 points per game. Freshman guard Phillip Russell is ninth, averaging 14.6 points per game. 

The Redhawks are averaging 31.9 rebounds per game with a –4.7 rebounding margin. Junior guard Nygal Russell leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.4 per game, earning him fifth overall in the conference.  


Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]