Wright State Spoils EIU Opener

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Published on November 14 2012 11:26 am
Last Updated on November 14 2012 11:26 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois opened with solid play taking an early lead over Wright State.  The Raiders answered with a 14-4 run as Wright State spoiled Eastern Illinois home opener with a 56-44 win over the Panthers in Lantz Arena.

WSU improved to 2-0, EIU fell to 0-2.  The Panthers will play three games this weekend at the Eastern Michigan Ice Man Classic in Ypsilanti.  In addition to facing the host Eagles, EIU also plays Texas Pan American and IPFW.

Alex Austin picked up where he left off in the season opener at Bradley scoring an early bucket and free throw.  Morris Woods and Sherman Blanford added baskets and EIU led 7-2 after the opening six and half minutes.

JT Yoho hit a pair of 3-pointers to spark Wright State’s 14-4 run as they led 32-17 at the half.  Yoho had nine of his game high 14 points in the first half.  Reggie Arceneaux had all ten of his points in the opening half as WSU shot 48 percent from the field.

EIU stepped up its defensive effort in the second half limiting Wright State to 35 percent in the half and 42 percent for the game.

“We played a different type of team tonight than the one we faced in the opener at Bradley,” said head coach Jay Spoonhour.  “They had one offensive stretch in the first half but other than that we played well defensively.  Overall our effort was good.”

In the second half Blanford cut the lead to 15 on two occasions with jumpers in the lane.  The junior finished with ten points and a team high three assists and three steals.

Austin hit a 3-pointer with 3:40 remaining to cut the margin to 15 and Austin Akers drained a 3-pointer in the final 30-seconds to account for the final scoring difference.  Alex Austin finished with a team-high 11 points as EIU was 4-of-17 from 3-point range.

“We are going to have to move the ball and have player movement to be successful on offense,” Spoonhour added.  “We have a limited number of players and fatigue becomes a factor in these games because you are asking guys like Austin Akers to try and do too much.”

The Panthers will regain the services of one player, Keenan Anderson, for this weekend’s tournament.  Anderson is a bigger body that could help the Panthers in the paint as they were out-rebounded by a 37-24 margin including 10-4 in offensive rebounds.  Matt Vest and Yoho had eight rebounds to lead WSU.  EIU was led by Malcolm Herron with five.

Note: Eastern Illinois has dismissed guard R.J. McGhee from the team due to violation of the EIU student-athlete code of conduct.