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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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Panthers dominate Lions on senior night

Drew Coffey
Senior guard Tiger Booker dribbles past defender on Saturday, February 17, 2024 in Groniger Arena. The Panthers beat the Lindenwood Lions 72-57 Saturday afternoon.

Honoring their four seniors tonight, guards Dan Luers, Tiger Booker, and Caleb Donaldson and forward Jermaine Hamlin, the Panthers secured an exhilarating 72-57 win on senior night, against the Lindenwood Lions.

This win puts the men at a 6-7 record in the Ohio Valley Conference. 

“Playing for our Seniors that’s what we talked about yesterday and before the game today,” head coach Marty Simmons said. “We just asked everybody to put all their thought and efforts into playing for the seniors in today’s game.”

The men had support tonight from family, friends, students, alumni, and even kids to help carry the positive energy throughout the game.

“I looked up before the game and I told Tiger that there [were] a lot of people here,” Luers said. “It’s just awesome to play for all the fans. We want to keep bringing more out to be honest.” 

Booker felt that having his friends and family here to support him against the Lions was a good feeling to have.

“This is one of the main reasons I came to Eastern: was for my family to come, so I’m feeling good,” Booker said. 

Booker finished the game with 21 points and five assists.

Coming off their second conference win in a row and seeing the amount of kids who look up to them, asking for autographs helps some of the Panthers to continue to stay motivated.

“It’s great,” junior guard Corey Sawyer Jr. said. “It just goes to show the work we put in and to see them happy, it just makes us more motivated to continue and keep winning.” 

When it comes down to the stats against the Lions, four men hit the double digits for points.

Booker led with 21, Sawyer followed with 15 and Luers and junior guard Kyndall Davis both scored 11.

Sawyer and Luers both recorded two three- pointers, and Booker recorded five assists as Davis and Hamlin followed with two assists each. 

Davis led in rebounds with 10 followed by junior forward Rodolfo Rufino Bolis with eight. 

In the first half, the men gave away 13 out of 25 points to free throws off of fouls, however in the second half, they turned around and only three of Lindenwood’s points were off of fouls.

The Panthers captured 20 points from turnovers, 11 from fastbreaks and 30 points off the paint. 

After the win against Lindenwood, Eastern is looking ahead to their next game against Tennessee State.

“We will play against a team very similar to these guys,” Simmons said. “They will be really physical, so just offensively working on execution. We have to be more sound and solid, more disciplined with our half court execution.” 

The Panthers will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to play against the Tennessee State Tigers on Thursday. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Chloe Proffitt can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Chloe Proffitt
Chloe Proffitt, Sports Reporter
Chloe Proffitt is a freshman nutrition and dietetics major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].
Drew Coffey
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.

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