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Eastern Illinois men's basketball hosts Rockford for first time

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CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois men's basketball hosts Rockford University for the Panthers' second home game of the season.

EIU dropped a 62-61 decision on Monday night to Central Michigan, with the  as the Chippewas hitting the game-winning shot as time expired. EIU took a 61-60 lead with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Chris Robinson EIU

The Panthers (0-3) are looking for their first win for first-year head coach Marty Simmons. 

EIU faces a Rockford team that is 3-1 on the season following a win over Maranatha Baptist on Tuesday night. Rockford will play this game as an exhibition.

Sammy Friday IV was solid in the low block for Eastern Illinois in Monday’s contest with Central Michigan. Friday finished with 12 points, all in the first half, as he was one of two Panthers in double figures in the game. Friday was 4-of-6 from the field and 4-of-6 from the foul line. After missing the opening game of the season, Friday was 2-for-2 from the field at Saint Louis and is now shooting 75% from the floor this season. Last season, he shot 60% from the floor for the fifth-best single season shooting percentage in school history. 

Sophomore guard Henry Abraham added two more 3-pointers to his season total against Central Michigan as he ranks seventh in the OVC this season in 3-pointers made. Abraham scored 11 points and had his fourth career double figure scoring game for the Panthers. Abraham has six made 3-pointers this season and is averaging 7.7 points per game. He posted three double figure scoring games as a freshman last season with a high of 16 points against Tennessee State.

Jeremy Reigle is in his third season as the head coach of Rockford University. Last season, he led the program to the NACC Tournament Championship game finishing with a 9-5 record, 6-2 in league play. The Regents have four players averaging in double figures led by Brandon Emerick at 14.8 points per game. DJ Bonds is averaging 14 with Jaden Bell and Micah Swanson also in double figures. Rockford averages 82 points per game and scored 96 in their recent win over Maranatha Baptist on Tuesday.

Here's a look at the game:

Time: Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Location: Lantz Arena in Charleston

Radio: 88.9 WEIU-FM

TV: ESPN+

Series: This is the first meeting between EIU and Rockford. 

Next Game: Monday, Nov. 22 at Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. 

Notes: Rockford plays as a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. EIU has previously faced three NACC member schools with a record of 11-0 against those three members. EIU is 2-0 against Aurora University, 5-0 against Benedictine and 4-0 against Illinois Tech. EIU last played an NACC member on Dec. 7, 2004 with a 86-62 win over Benedictine.


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