The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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EIU falls short to Central Arkansas in close game

The+Panthers+mens+basketball+team+huddle+together+before+the+start+of+the+mens+game+vs.+the+Fighting+Illini+Monday+evening.
Ashanti Thomas
The Panthers men’s basketball team huddle together before the start of the men’s game vs. the Fighting Illini Monday evening.

Eastern’s men’s basketball team lost a close game to the Central Arkansas Bears 73-70 Sunday afternoon in Groniger Arena.

The Panthers had multiple chances to either win the game or send it to overtime.

Eventually, the game came down to the final 2.9 seconds.

Eastern just came short on a three-point attempt by junior guard NaKyel Shelton as he tried to push the game into overtime play.

“I wish it could have went in,” Shelton said. “I practice shots like that They set the screen, and they switched it try to find open gap and got contested. I thought I got fouled, but it didn’t go our way.”

EIU started the game down as Central Arkansas got out to a quick 11-point lead.

The Bears were led by freshman forward Tucker Anderson who scored 16 points in the first half and 22 in total.

Eastern was able to come back and hold Anderson to only six points in the second half.

“I think we just knew not to help off as much,” sophomore forward Kooper Jacobi said. “He had easy threes in the first half, so really getting up in him and not [letting] him get easy shots. He was a good player, but I think defensively we didn’t make the best decisions at first.”

Jacobi did not have the best day as he only scored two points, however other players were able to step up in the second half.

Shelton scored 22 points in total and 16 in the second half. He wasn’t alone however, as junior guard Corey Sawyer Jr. scored nine points in the second half and finished with three assists and two steals.

“I feel like we just came out with our halftime adjustments with our coaching staff, and that was the production of our adjustments,” Sawyer said.

“We got to have more player movement, more ball movement,” Panthers’ Head Coach Marty Simmons said. “When we do that, I think good things happen. They were switching out there five ways and we got stagnant. We were standing up and we can’t do that. So just learning from our mistakes but build[ing] on the positives and just learn from our mistakes and try to keep moving forward.”

The Panthers look to rebound on Sunday against Blackburn College at 2:00 p.m. in Groniger Arena.

Patrick Schmitz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Patrick Schmitz, Sports Reporter
Patrick Schmitz is a freshman sports media relations major. This is his first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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