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Men's Basketball News & Highlights

November 11, 2013

Promising Eagles Nipped in UMBC Exhibition

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Jacob Clark attacks the baseline in the first half. Clark scored all eight of his points in the second half.

CATONSVILLE, Md.- It was technically a scrimmage. Or maybe it was a game. Regardless, Eastern University Men's Basketball gave the host UMBC Retrievers all they could handle before falling in 84-79 in overtime on Monday night. The game was the home-opener for the Retrievers, but because the game is before the official opening of the D3 season, counted only as a scrimmage for the Eagles.

Eastern grabbed the lead on a Malcolm Garrison 3-pointer with 16:09 to play in the first half and did not trail until the first basket of overtime. The Retrievers needed a 25-footer from Rodney Elliot with 2.4 seconds on the clock to send the game into the extra frame.

With three new players figuring into a ten-man rotation, the Eagles showed offensive promise as they ran out to a 16 point lead against their bigger DI opponents. Garrison, a sophomore guard from Baltimore, shared team-high honors with first year guard Shaquan Turk with 13 points. Caleb Knudsen scored 11 of his 12 points before intermission to help the Eagles seize a 41-29 lead at the break.

The Eagles (0-0) held an 11-point lead at the final media timeout of regulation before the Retriever press began to take its toll. UMBC (1-1) closed out the final four minutes of regulation with a 16-5 run.

"We still have stuff to work through," Head Coach Nate Stewart commented after the game. "and to be honest we did not spend a ton of time leading up to this game on how to handle a 10-point lead late. We are pretty young and their size and physicality caused us problems down the stretch."

First year guard Jacob Clark handled much of the ball handling duties through the night. Clark, who missed the Eagles' first scrimmage with injury, finished with eight points in 29 minutes of action.

Stewart was encouraged by the play of Clark and Turk, and with the improvement of several of Eastern's young players from last year.

"We have room to grow," Stewart commented, "but there are a lot of positives to be taken from a game like tonight. Caleb [Knudsen] and Jimmie [Willis] had to battle with a really big front line, and we were able to out-rebound them for the game. (45-41) We also shot the ball well in a pretty tough environment." Led by Garrison's 4-of-9 effort from distance, the Eagles made 8-of-23 3-pointers.

UMBC's Malik Garner controlled play in the overtime. With the Eastern 'big' men in foul trouble, the 6'7" forward from Philadelphia scored 12-of-13 Retriever points in the extra frame.

The Eagles open their regular season with a pair of home games against local rivals next week. They will host Cabrini on Tuesday and Rosemont on Thursday night. 

There will be an announcement about tickets for the Cabrini game released tomorrow morning.

Box Score 

Photo Gallery

Updated: Tuesday, 12 November 2013

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