By Cameron Blair
Poor shooting and low scoring doomed Eastern’s men’s basketball team on a three game road trip, as the Colonels dropped games to East Tennessee State, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Duke.Against East Tennessee State Nov. 17, the Colonels were held to 32.7 percent shooting for the game in the 76-56 loss.
Eastern shot 38 three-pointers in the game, making only 10.
Head Coach Jeff Neubauer said the Colonels were still searching for their offensive identity.
“We’re trying to find the right combination of personnel to make us an efficient offensive unit, and to this point, we haven’t been able to find that combination,” Neubauer said.
Senior Mike Rose led the Colonels in scoring, netting 13 points. That total was far below the 27 Rose scored in the Colonels last meeting with the Buccaneers.
The Colonels used strong defense and a strong effort from senior Darnell Dialls to stay competitive against UAB, but their effort fell short in a 64-50 defeat to the Blazers.
Dialls led the Colonels with 15 points and seven rebounds. He also hit two three pointers in the game.
“Darnell hit three perimeter jumpers that were very helpful,” Neubauer said. “He is certainly going to need to be a big part of our offensive scheme.”
The Colonels held the Blazers to 31 first half points, but struggles on the offensive end put the Colonels in a 31-18 hole at halftime.
Eastern made the game competitive in the second half, pulling to within five at 52-47 with four minutes to go on senior Jamaal Douglas’ putback. However, the Blazers scored 12 of the game’s final 15 points.
Eastern concluded their road trip against No. 10 Duke with a 73-46 loss to the Blue Devils in which they found their shooting stroke in the second half.
The Colonels struggled offensively in the first half, hitting only four of their 17 shots on their way to a 34-12 deficit at halftime.
Eastern came out of the gate in the second half much better offensively.
The Colonels shot 50 percent in the second half and scored 34 points, their highest total of the trip.
“We certainly found more ways to score in the second half,” Neubauer said. “The fact that we scored 34 points in the second half at Duke is definitely a positive.”
Eastern faces Youngstown State Saturday at McBrayer Arena .