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Eastern Illinois men's basketball picks up first win for Marty Simmons against Rockford University

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CHARLESTON -- Behind the strong play of Sammy Friday IV in the opening minutes, the Eastern Illinois men's basketball team's offense was firing on all cylinders on Thursday night as the Panthers beat Rockford University, 96-64, for the first EIU win for first-year head coach Marty Simmons.

Friday was 9-of-11 from the floor with seven rebounds as he finished with 21 points, one of six Panthers in double figures in the game. Friday collected 13 of his game-high total in the opening half as EIU shot 69% from the floor.

The Panthers would continue to shoot the ball well throughout the duration of the game finishing at 63% for the night.

Henry Abraham had 12 of his 15 points in the opening half as he knocked down 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the game. EIU was 6-of-15 as a team from beyond the arc.

Jermaine Hamlin

Six Panthers score in double figures in home victory against Rockford University. 

The Panthers built a 46-30 halftime lead as Rockford was able to hit some outside shots early in the contest. Brandon Emerick hit two of his three 3-pointers in the opening half finishing with nine points.

TJ Lacey was the Regents leading scorer with 16 points. DJ Bonds added 15 and Zac Centers 11. Bonds and Centers each sank three 3-pointers as Rockford was 12-of-32 from long range in the game.

Rodolfo Bolis just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. EIU's other two starters in the game also reached double figures with CJ Lane scoring 11 and Kejuan Clements 12.

Jermaine Hamlin scored nine points in the second half to finish with 12 points. He added three blocks to his OVC leading total as he now has 14 blocks on the year.

EIU improved to 1-3 on the season. Rockford is 3-1. EIU returns to action on Monday playing at former OVC member Eastern Kentucky.


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