Central Arkansas Downs EIU Men

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Published on November 29 2012 11:18 am
Last Updated on November 29 2012 11:18 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – DeShone McClure hit a jumper as time expired following a scramble for a loose ball as his basket gave visiting Central Arkansas a 74-72 win over Eastern Illinois on Wednesday night in Lantz Arena.

UCA improved to 2-3 on the season.  EIU fell to 3-5 and will play at Stony Brook this Saturday at 1 p.m. (Central).

EIU trailed 34-25 at the half but shot 70 percent from the field in the second half thanks in large part to a 28-8 points in the paint advantage.  Morris Woods scored 16 of his team high 17 points in the second half hitting 8-of-10 shots from the field, many of them on close range shots in the paint.

“We had a good second half offensively but we still had some breakdowns on defense,” said Woods following his career high night.  “They hit a tough shot.  It was a heartbreaking loss but it’s a game we can grow from and keep getting better as the season goes on.”

Central Arkansas led by as many as 15 points in the second half when Jarvis Garner hit a 3-pointer with 16:13 left to put the Bears up 48-33.  EIU cut the margin to single digits four times over the next five minutes trailing 57-48 with 10:58 left after Alex Austin drained a jumper.  EIU outscored UCA 20-10 over the next seven minutes as Austin Akers hit a 3-pointer with 3:55 left to bring EIU within one point.

Taylor Jones hit a lay-up with 1:47 left to tie the game at 69-69.  Josh Piper hit his only shot of the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 56 seconds left to put EIU up 72-69.  Robert Crawford answered for UCA with a 3-pointer on the other end to knot the game at 72-72.  EIU had a missed shot with 11 seconds left and UCA missed a shot with three seconds left before McClure came up with the loose ball and hit the game winner.

“This was a tough loss.  We competed.  We didn’t give up,” said EIU head coach Jay Spoonhour following the game.  “UCA is a team that can make you look bad with how they play defense.  Our team kept fighting and kept playing the entire game.  Everybody stepped up and made plays for us tonight.”

The Panthers ended the game shooting 48 percent with Akers adding 11 points and five assists.  Austin added nine points off the bench.  EIU committed only two turnovers in the second half.

Miles had 14 points for UCA while Garner had 12.  The Bears shot 49 percent for the game.