EIU Men's Basketball Team Wins Exhibition Game

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Published on November 5 2013 2:48 pm
Last Updated on November 5 2013 2:48 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON -- The Eastern Illinois University Panther men's basketball team picked up a 73-64 exhibition win over Oakland City Saturday night inside Lantz Arena.

EIU used a balanced offense as 10 players scored in the victory, led by Josh Piper's 15 points. Sherman Blanford added a double-double as the senior forward scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds.

The Panthers jumped out to a 17-2 lead and never trailed in the contest. OCU cut its deficit to five (21-16) at the 7:42 mark, but the Panthers outscored the Mighty Oaks 14-10 in the closing minutes of the first half to take a 35-26 lead into the locker room.

Trailing by 14 (54-40) with 11:51 left in the contest, OCU scored 13 unanswered points to get within one (54-53) with just under eight minutes remaining in the garne. The Panther defense held the Mighty Oaks to 2-for-9 shooting down the stretch and posted a 19-9 run to end the contest and seal the victory.

Reggie Smith chipped in 11 points and a game-high five assists while Alex Austin went 4-for-7 from the floor with 10 points to round out the double-figure scoring lor the Panthers. EIU finished the night going 25-for-61 from the floor and 17-for-27 frorn the foul line.

OCU's Kendall Wittmer went 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe for a game-high 18 points while Matt Lucas added 15 points. Ryan Helfert chipped in 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Lawrence Kinney dished out a team-high five assists and scored nine points.

EIU had 13 more rebounds (43-30) than OCU and forced 14 turnovers, converting the miscues into 17 points. The Panthers also added 16 second-chance points and had nine steals.

The Panthers open the regular season at Northwestern Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.