Eastern Illinois starts season 0-2, seeking tough competition this year


(WCIA) — Eastern Illinois is seeking out some tough competition this season.

The Panthers were supposed to play on Sunday evening against Butler, but the Bulldogs canceled the game due to positive COVID-19 tests affecting the team. With the program, and most of college basketball facing unknowns this season, head coach Jay Spoonhour says they’ve had to look for big paydays.

“When the testing and everything starts there is a possibility it could be difficult to get all your games in. My gosh even half of them if you start to think about all the things that have to fall right.”

EIU opened the season on Wednesday, with the Panthers losing 77-67 to No. 7 Wisconsin . The Badgers were the second highest ranked team that EIU had ever faced during a regular season game. Josiah Wallace put up 22 points, and is the 41st player in school history to join reach 1,000 points.

The Panthers also lost to Marquette, with the Golden Eagles opening with a 17-7 run closing out with a 75-50. Mack Smith scored 12 points for EIU, including a three pointer which extended his NCAA leading consecutive games with a made 3-pointer streak to 83.  

EIU will return to action on Thursday night when they host Chicago State. 

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