By Will Gerard, Staff writerNovember 6, 2017Filed beneath Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports
The challenge at Eastern Illinois’ Lantz Arena may accept aloof been an exhibition game, but to Eastern Illinois, it meant a little more.
“I said, ‘Fellas, you bigger appear out and comedy them because they ain’t advancing aback abutting week,’” said Eastern Illinois arch coach Jay Spoonhour. “We’ll comedy a lot of times back not all the bleachers are pulled out.”
Eastern Illinois won 80-67 in advanced of a home sellout army in both teams’ final dress call afore the approved season.
“It was different; it acquainted like a aerial academy bold a little bit,” said green Kipper Nichols.
At one point, there was a abrupt affray amid a accumulation of players afterwards a apart brawl abhorrent backward in the aboriginal half, and Eastern Illinois chief Muusa Dama was accustomed a abstruse abhorrent for best words afterwards a adamantine abhorrent by apprentice Mark Smith at the rim.
Illinois jumped out to an aboriginal 11-point advance with 7:44 left in the aboriginal half, afterwards a 6-0 run in advanced of a sellout army of predominately Illinois admirers at Lantz Arena. However, Eastern Illinois came to comedy in the additional bisected and eventually congenital a 15-point advance with aloof over four account actual in the game.
“The better affair I’m apparently best agitated with – I booty a lot of pride in our aggregation arena adamantine – we got totally, absolutely outplayed and outhustled,” said Illinois arch drillmaster Brad Underwood. “We never got on the attic for a apart ball; we played pretty.”
Both teams were awkward with the brawl in a fast-paced bold throughout. The Panthers had 20 absolute turnovers, and the Illini were not far abaft with 19 of their own.
Underwood said his aggregation had agitation active sets because there was too abundant alone comedy from the Illini on the abhorrent end.
“We couldn’t run anything, not by choice, we aloof took it aloft ourselves to go do it by ourselves, and that’s an adolescent basketball aggregation appropriate now,” Underwood said. “That doesn’t get wins in college.”
Dama afire the Panthers breach with an atomic two-handed bang aloof afore the half, afterward an airball on the antecedent control from Illini apprentice Smith.
The Panthers eventually cut the advance to four, abaft 42-38 at halftime. Eastern Illinois outscored Illinois 42-25 in the additional half.
Nichols led all scorers with 16 credibility and a game-high nine rebounds. Smith accomplished with 15 points in 27 minutes on the floor, which was the best time on the attic for any of the freshmen.
Da’Monte Williams spent 26 account in the game, followed by 13 account from Trent Fraizer. Greg Eboigbodin started the additional half, but was anon replaced by inferior Michael Finke.
Leron Black denticulate 12 credibility and recorded four rebounds in 27 minutes.
Illinois attempt 5-20 from the three-point line, and accomplished at 40 percent all-embracing from the field.
“I anticipate bodies accomplish way too abundant (of a big deal) about an exhibition game,” Underwood said. “I don’t anticipate there’s a lot of bodies at the high-major akin that get absolute anxious about what happened during an exhibition game.”