MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Eastern Illinois was held below 40 percent shooting on the night but the Panthers knocked down shots when they needed them as EIU won on the road 61-52 at Morehead State on Thursday night.
EIU improved to 5-9 on the year, 1-2 in the OVC. EIU will play on Saturday at Eastern Kentucky. Morehead State fell to 4-10 overall, 0-3 in the OVC.
The Panthers picked up the win without guard D'Angelo Jackson, who missed the game with an ankle sprain that he suffered against Austin Peay on Saturday. EIU is also still without guard Terrell Lewis.
"I think we really played together well. We had a good week of practice and guys did a great job of playing as a unit," EIU coach Jay Spoonhour said. "We had to do things a little differently than we have and that's not always easy to do in a short time frame. But the guys really did a nice job. We rebounded well, we guarded well. I am proud of them. What we've had to through through hasn't been easy."
EIU won the rebounding battle 40 to 31 over Morehead State and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. EIU had 10 second chance points.
Opponents have shot 44 percent against the Panthers this season, but EIU held Morehead State to 38.2 percent shooting (18-of-47) and the Eagles only hit 4-of-19 3-pointers.
Leading 54-45 with just under three minutes remaining EIU was in the midst of a 4 minute, 12 second scoreless stretch as Jordan Walker cut the Panthers lead to six with a 3-pointer with 2:34 to play making it 54-48.
The Panthers went down low on the next two possessions with Muusa Dama getting back-to-back buckets to extend the margin back to eight points. Dama's final bucket was at 1:18 to play putting EIU up 58-50. Dama finished with ten points.
Following free throws by Djimon Henson that made it a six point game with just under a minute to play, EIU closed out the game with free throws by Montell Goodwin and Mack Smith. Goodwin had 20 points to lead the Panthers.
Morehead State scored the first basket of the game before EIU tied the game on a jumper by Jajuan Starks and took the lead on a 3-pointer by Goodwin with 18:13 to play in the first half. The Panthers led the remainder of the game.
EIU held a 29-21 lead at the half and pushed the lead out to as high as 13 points on two occasions. The first was on a Goodwin 3-pointer with 17:41 to play it the second. The final 13 point lead for EIU was on a Justice Green free throw with 14:25 to play.
Starks added 15 points for EIU. Ray Crossland and Goodwin both had a team high six rebounds as the Panthers won the battle on the glass, 40-31.
Lamontray Harris was the lone Morehead State player in double figures finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds.