OVC Ball Statbox
|1-5 (0-0 OVC)|
|2-3 (0-0 MEAC)|
|14/44 (31.8%)||Field Goals||23/47 (48.9%)|
|4/20 (20.0%)||3-Point FG||8/16 (50.0%)|
|8/11 (72.7%)||Free Throws||11/13 (84.6%)|
|23 (7/16)||Rebounds (O/D)||33 (9/24)|
|2nd Chance Pts|
|Points off TO|
|Pts in the Paint|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Eastern Illinois offense
NC Central offense
|Points:||Smith (15)||Holmes (14)|
|Rebounds:||Viser (3)||Parks (9)|
|Assists:||Johnston, Piper (2)||Hilliard (6)|
|Steals:||Six Tied With 1||Parks (3)|
- EIU’s leading scorer heading into the game, Chris Olivier, played just 10 minutes, scoring two points
- The Panthers hit just six field goals in the first half, shooting 26% from the field, and 1-18 (12.5%) from three-point range.
- North Carolina Central jumped out to a 20-7 lead, and never looked back.
Olivier Injured? EIU’s leading scorer, Chris Olivier didn’t start, and played limited minutes against Creighton. His minutes were limited again today — and I’m not sure he played at all in the second half. We’ll check into his status, but it appears there may be some kind of injury hampering the Panthers forwards. Either that, or he’s really in head coach Jay Spoonhour‘s doghouse.
Driving to pass, not shoot: During a rough stretch of shooting in the first half, Eastern Illinois kept driving, only to pass to someone on the perimeter. It didn’t even look like they were looking for shots inside — instead just using it to create open three’s. Cornell Johnston, especially, would drive to the paint, and without picking up his dribble, find someone to pass it to. It’s okay if they’re falling. They weren’t.
North Carolina Central scored on its first four possessions, as the Eagles shot 50 percent in the opening half, during a 65-40 win over Eastern Illinois in the opening round of the Emerald Coast Classic.
Karamo Jawara opened the game with a 3-pointer for NCCU followed by baskets by Dante Holmes and Jordan Parks as four players scored in double figures for the Eagles.
Reggie Smith kept EIU in the game in the opening minutes as the senior guard knocked down a pair of baskets that made it a 9-5 game with 17 minutes to play in the opening half. Smith would finish with 15 points, his best offensive game this season.
North Carolina Central answered with three 3-pointers on their next four possessions pushing the lead to double figures as Holmes hit his second 3-pointer in the run giving NCCU a 20-7 lead at the 12:17 mark. Holmes led NCCU with 14 points.
The Eagles would hit 5-of-10 from 3-point range in the first half to lead 40-20 at the break. NCCU hit 3-of-6 from 3-point range in the second half to shot 50 percent from 3-point range for the game and 49 percent from the floor.
EIU was held to 26 percent shooting in the first half but did warm up slightly in the second half finishing the game at 32 percent shooting. LeTrell Viser added ten points off the bench. Chris Olivier, the Panthers leading scorer, was held to one point making 1-of-2 from the free throw line with only one field goal attempted.
Viser and Dylan Chatman both knocked down a pair of 3-pointers for EIU. Chatman’s 3-pointer at the 18:44 mark of the second half cut NCCU’s lead to less than 20-points for the only time in the second half. Parks answered for the Eagles as part of his 13 point night. Jawara had 12 points and Anthony McDonald finished with 11 for NCCU.
EIU dropped to 1-5 on the year and will play the loser of the Northern Arizona / Southern University game on Saturday at 11 am. NCCU improved to 2-3 with the win and will face the NAU/SU winner on Saturday.