By GABI BOURN | Staff Writer
The men’s basketball team lost to Eastern Illinois University in a non-conference game Nov. 24. It was the Huskies’ second time on the road for the season, and they were defeated 64-44 at Lantz Arena in Charleston, Illinois.
Both the Huskies and the Panthers were coming off losses at home as they competed.
Eastern Illinois took command early by scoring the first 14 points during the opening nine minutes of the game.
The Huskies fought back, but after the slow start, struggled to gain momentum.
The Huskies only hit 5 of 15 baskets from the field, shooting 33 percent in the first half, while the Panthers shot 44 percent with 12 of 27 from the field.
The score was 32-15 at the half, with the Huskies trailing.
Senior guard Anthony Hill said the team faced problems, but played well defensively.
“We played solid team defense all game long, but we had too many turnovers and not enough energy,” Hill said.
The Huskies scored the first 8 points during the first minutes of the second half, but the Panthers were soon on the prowl for more points.
The Huskies’ sophomore guard Tyler Russell led the team with 11 points, while senior guard Marcus Davis had seven rebounds.
Freshman guard Rob Lewis scored a career high of eight points and four steals off the bench.
The Huskies improved their shooting percentage to 36 percent in the second half hitting 9-25, while the Panthers shot 66 percent with 10-15 from the field.
The Panthers were able to take advantage behind the three-point line, making 6-13 behind the line, shooting 46 percent, while the Huskies were 0-10.
Sophomore guard Tyler Russell scored 11 of the 44 points for the Huskies. He said that for the next game he hopes to score and contribute more to the team.
“As a team, we hope to score more,” Russell said. “We usually don’t have a problem scoring like last game. We are working on fast breaks, and I hope to do more for the team.”
Coach Ron Cottrell, in a post-game interview with Lonnie King, stated that he was pleased with the Huskies’ defensive game, but admitted that the team had work to do on its offensive game.
“We are a young team still trying to find our way and create our identity,” Cottrell said. “It’s good that the team has a full week to prepare for the game at Rice University.”
The men’s basketball team will face the Rice University Owls Dec. 1 at Rice’s Tudor Fieldhouse 7:05 p.m before playing Sam Houston Sate University at Sharp Gym.