Exhibition Impact – EIU over Illinois & More
(St. Louis, MO) – The shocker of the exhibition season happened in Charleston, Illinois Friday. Eastern Illinois upset Illinois 80-67 before a sold-out Lantz Arena crowd. The Panthers and Illini played a charity exhibition to raise money for Hurricane Relief and the American Red Cross, for the Panthers it became so much more.
With the upset victory, that will make no difference in RPI, no difference in Jerry Palm’s ratings and no difference in the Ohio Valley Conference race, the Panthers did send a message that their veteran group could be pretty good.
BTW, kudos to Brad Underwood and the Illinois program that chose to play this game and play it on the road. Not many ‘money conference’ coaches or teams would take that risk.
To the game: Five Panthers scored in double figures as Jay Spoonhour’s team shot better than 60% in the second half. For the contest, Montell Goodwin and Terrell Lewis combined to make six of nine shots from beyond the arc.
Morehead State 67 @ Kentucky 92
The Eagles weren’t as fortunate in their road game in Lexington, Kentucky, but Morehead State and Kentucky raised more than $450,000 in the Kentucky Cares Classic charity exhibition game.
Now in his first full year as the head coach, Preston Spradlin told msueagles.com he was happy with his team’s effort and the lessons learned from playing a top ranked team.
“I really liked the effort by the guys tonight,” said Spradlin. “I thought they fought. I thought their energy was great. This will be a great learning tool for us as we go forward and build this as we go through the season.”
Lamontray Harris (15 points) and Jordan Walker (13) were the Eagles’ leading scorers.
Indiana State 72 @ Purdue 94
Two Indiana based teams were raising money for hurricane relief in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico this week and the Boilermakers came away with a 22 point win at Mackey Arena.
Jordan Barnes (15 points) and Brenton Scott (12) led the Sycamores in scoring, while freshman guard Tyreke Key (7) led the team in rebounding.
Northern Iowa 38 @ Wisconsin 69
The Panthers and Badgers also met to raise money for hurricane victims. The opportunities to raise money for good causes and to play teams from ‘power 5’ conferences are invaluable. Despite the loss, the Panthers were able to get some game experience for new players and to witness the continued emergence of sophomore Juwan McCloud. He led the team with 10 points, followed by freshman Tywhon Pickford, who tallied eight.
Earlier in the preseason, Missouri State connected with Kansas State in a similar endeavor.