EIU Ends Ice Man Classic With Win

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Published on November 19 2012 11:23 am
Last Updated on November 19 2012 11:23 am
Written by Millie Lange

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Trailing by one with 23 seconds left in the game, Sherman Blanford stole an IPFW inbound pass and drove to the hoop for the eventual game-winning basket to give the Panther men’s basketball team a 68-67 win over IPFW. EIU concluded the EMU Ice Man Classic with back-to-back wins, improving to 2-3 overall on the year.

The second stanza was close as neither team led by more than four points with EIU leading 54-40 with 8:54 left in the contest. Pierre Bland put the Mastodons (2-3) up 64-60 at the 3:28 mark, but the Panther defense held IPFW to 1-for-5 shooting down the stretch. The second half saw the two teams exchange leads 10 times with the game also being tied on 10 occasions.

The Panthers started the game hitting three of their first five shots to take an early 7-2 advantage at the 17:25 mark in the first half. EIU eventually pushed its lead to 11 points (26-15) with just over eight minutes on the clock before the Mastodons used an 18-6 run to take their first lead of the game with 1:13 left in the half. On the following possession, Alex Austin hit a baseline jumper with 39 seconds remaining before intermission to give EIU a 34-33 lead heading into the locker room.

Four EIU players scored in double figures with Blanford pacing the squad with 17 points while Josh Piper added 12 points. Both Morris Woods and Malcolm Herron both chipped in 11 points. Defensively, Blanford led the Panthers with seven rebounds.

Kevin Harden paced the Mastodons with 22 points while Luis Jacobo grabbed seven rebounds to lead IPFW on the glass. Frank Gaines also added 15 points in the IPFW loss.

The Panthers return to action Wednesday against Rochester College. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at Lantz Arena.