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

Men’s basketball loses two straight conference games

Sia DeyKoontz
Sophomore forward Kooper Jacobi scores a point against Morehead State Thursday evening in Groniger Arena.

Eastern men’s basketball lost two straight games this week.

On Thursday evening in Groniger Arena, the Panthers lost to the Morehead State Eagles 78-52.

Three Panthers scored double figures against the Eagles: senior guard Jordan “Tiger” Booker (20), junior guard/forward Kyndall Davis (15) and junior guard NaKyel Shelton (10).

Before the Panthers’ Saturday afternoon game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks, redshirt sophomore forward Kooper Jacobi was seen with a boot on his foot.

Because Jacobi normally starts for the Panthers, junior forward Rodolfo Rufino Bolis started in Jacobi’s place.

Along with Jacobi, fifth year forward Jermaine Hamlin did not play for the Panthers on Saturday.

Bolis and redshirt sophomore forward Lazar Grbovic played more minutes than usual to help the Panthers stay in the game against the Leathernecks.

“I think both of our backup bigs came in and gave us good minutes, good physicality and really imposed their will,” Shelton said. “I thought they did great.”

Bolis scored two points and also recorded two rebounds and one assist.

Grbovic scored six points over Western Illinois, as he also recorded five rebounds and one steal.

“I’m glad that I played and that the coach[es] had trust in me,” Grbovic said. “I’m trying to do my best to help the team win games.”

Eastern lost in a close game against Western Illinois 63-60 on Saturday afternoon in Groniger Arena.

The Panthers are now 8-10 overall as the two losses make them 2-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Here are two aspects the Panthers struggled with on Thursday and Saturday:

  1. Rebounding:

Rebounding was a struggle for the Panthers in both games this week, as the team lost the rebound battle against both Morehead State and Western Illinois.

Morehead State recorded 46 rebounds against Eastern, 17 more than Eastern themselves.

Sophomore forward Sincere Malone led the Panthers in rebounding against the Eagles with eight rebounds.

Jacobi recorded five rebounds for the Panthers, and Shelton and Davis both recorded an additional four rebounds.

Eagles’ Jordan Lathon recorded 13 rebounds, leading the Eagles in rebounds but also leading in rebounds throughout the game.

Western Illinois recorded 34 rebounds against Eastern. with Eastern only recording 24 rebounds.

Shelton and Grbovic led the Panthers in rebounding with five each.

Leathernecks’ Drew Cisse led Western Illinois with 12 rebounds.

  1. Three-Pointers:

The Panther struggled to make three-pointers throughout the week compared to their opponents.

Eastern made three of their 13 attempted three-pointers. Davis made two of them, and Shelton made the third three-pointer for the Panthers.

All three-pointers made for the Panthers against the Eagles were made in the second half of the game.

The Panthers were four of 14 from behind the arc against the Leathernecks.

Shelton made two three-pointers for the Panthers, Booker made one three-pointer and junior guard Dan Luers made the fourth three-pointer for the Panthers.

The next game for the Panthers will be against the Lindenwood Lions on Jan. 20 in St. Charles, Missouri.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.


Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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Zaria Flippin
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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