Morris Woods scored a game-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting to lead the Panther men’s basketball team over in-state foe Northern Illinois, 59-47, in the team’s Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers (9-20) started the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 38-27 advantage with just under 16 minutes left in the game. EIU never trailed for the duration of the contest and led by as much as 13 points (56-43) with 1:41 on the clock. The Huskies (5-20) got within one possession (44-41) with 7:10 left in the game but EIU would go 13-for-19 from the free throw line in the second stanza to seal the victory.
The first half was back and forth as the two teams exchanged the lead 11 times while having the score tied on five occasions. Neither squad led by more than two possessions with EIU leading by three (24-21) with 3:40 left on the clock. Trailing 25-24 with 20 seconds remaining before intermission, Malcolm Herron hit a baseline three pointer to give the Panthers a 27-25 halftime lead.
Offensively, Sherman Blanford and Josh Piper both added nine points while Alex Austin chipped in eight points. Blanford scored all of his points at the foul line, going 9-for-14.
Taylor Jones and Piper led the team on the glass with eight rebounds each. EIU posted nine more rebounds (37-28) than NIU in the win.
Abdel Nader was the lone Huskie in double figures with 17 points, going 8-for-17 from the floor. The sophomore guard also paced the team on the glass with seven rebounds.
The Panthers return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 26 when they travel to Chicago State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Recap Provided by Eastern Illinois Athletics