Golden Eagles off target, lose 75-58 at Eastern Illinois

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Tennessee Tech couldn’t find the range in the first half, fell way behind, and never caught up in losing a 75-58 Ohio Valley Conference contest Thursday night at Eastern Illinois.

The Golden Eagles shot just 23 percent in the first half while EIU hit at a 54 percent pace to build a 33-20 lead by halftime.
Tech shot a little better in the second half, and played even with the Panthers, but never got the deficit back down into single digits.

Romain Martin led EIU with a 24-point, 11-rebound double double. Edin Suldic was the only other Panther in double figures, scoring 14, but EIU got points from all 12 players who stepped onto the court. Tyler Laser had nine points and seven rebounds.

The Golden Eagles were led by freshman Kevin Murphy’s 11 points and six rebounds. Frank Davis had nine and Bassey Inameti scored eight.

The golden Eagles had only nine turnovers in the game, but finished shooting 30.6 percent for the contest.

Tech’s only lead of the night came when Daniel Northern made a free throw for a 1-0 lead to open the contest. EIU took a 2-1 lead and built it to double figures with 6:29 remaining in the first half. Tech cut it to eight, but the margin grew to 16 on a 3-pointer by Martin just before the half.

The Golden Eagles pulled to within 10 to open the second half, but EIU used a 9-0 run to make it a 19-point advantage. After that, the nearest Tech would get was 11 points, 49-38, with 10:20 to play. The largest lead of the game was a 22-point bulge at 62-40 with 5:14 to go.

Tech’s record leveled off at 10-10 overall, including a 4-6 mark in the conference. The Panthers came out of the game at 9-11 overall, but 6-4 in the conference.

Tech plays Saturday night at Southeast Missouri, its’ fourth consecutive OVC road game, before returning to Eblen Center next Thursday (Feb. 5) to host Eastern Kentucky.