Men’s basketball loses to first place SIUE

Guard%2C+Kinyon+Hodges+%2810%29%2C+gets+in+the+defensive+position+in+attempts+to+guard+Southern+Illinois+University+Edwardsville+Guard%2C+Damarco+Minor+%280%29.+The+Panthers+lost+80-62+Thursday+night.

Han Byer

Guard, Kinyon Hodges (10), gets in the defensive position in attempts to guard Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Guard, Damarco Minor (0). The Panthers lost 80-62 Thursday night.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s basketball team lost its third OVC game in a row to the SIUE Cougars Thursday evening in Lantz Arena 80-62.

The Panthers are now 2-3 in the OVC and 6-12 overall.

Junior guard Kinyon Hodges continued to do well for the Panthers in OVC play as he led the team with 19 points and five rebounds.

Hodges is 14th in the OVC in scoring and first in the OVC for field goal percentage with a .483. Hodges said that he owes it all to his grandpa, who recently passed away.

“Oh, I would just say myself and then my grandpa,” Hodges said. “You know, I just lost my grandpa recently and I know he’s up there watching so everything is for him.”

The game was very back and forth between the Panthers and the Cougars. The Panthers went on an 8-2 run during the first five minutes of the first half but the Cougars were able to tie it back up 10-10 with 14 minutes left.

Towards the very end of the first half, the Panthers scored back-to-back down low, giving them the 31-30 advantage. However, back-to-back three pointers by the Cougars gave them the 36-31 advantage at halftime.

The Panthers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and 20 percent from the 3-point line as they shot 1-of-5.

To begin the second half, the Cougars went on a 10-0 run. The Cougars outshot the Panthers from the 3-point line and the free-throw line. They ended the night going 10-of-26 from the 3-point line and 18-of-24 from the free-throw line.

Cougar sophomore guard Damarco Minor set the OVC record for consecutive free throws made with 47 during the first half of the game.

In the second half, the Panthers used their hustle on defense to their advantage. Graduate student Yaakema Rose Jr. had two steals and put both away afterwards to go along with his eight points for the night.

 

Hodges said that Rose Jr. provides a spark for the team.

“It brings everything man, he’s a dog,” Hodges said. “He’s gonna get the steals, he’s gonna sit down, he gonna go 94 feet if you need him to. It brings a lot because it gives the rest of the team hype when you seen your point guard guard against it.”

The Panthers were able to score 11 points in transition which is something that the Panthers try to capitalize on, Rose Jr. said.

“We had a few stops and you know, we tried to capitalize off it and you know, stops can be tough to get in this league,” Rose Jr. said. “So, we just try to feed off our defense and try to find our way out of transition and capitalize.”

The Panthers will take on Little Rock this Saturday in Lantz Arena at 3:30 p.m. The Trojans are currently in last place in the OVC with a record of 1-4.

Head coach Marty Simmons said that there are things that need to improve between now and Saturday.

“Got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball,” Simmons said. “You got to do a better job blocking out and rebounding and obviously not fouling and keeping them off the free throw line.”

 

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