The Maryville College men's basketball team dropped their season opener to Eastern University in the Maryville College Invitational by the score of 68-65 on Saturday evening.
A Kaleb Estes jump shot just after the first fifteen-minutes gave Maryville a 12-point advantage (32-20). A pair of three-pointers by Eastern's Austin Duncan and Darius Washington cut the Scots' lead to three (36-33) at the intermission.
Maryville shot 42% in the first half including a 4-for-12 effort (33%) from beyond the arc. The Eagles mounted their comeback on 46% shooting doing most of their damage in the paint while hitting 3-of- 6 shots from beyond the arc.
Eastern used the first five minutes of the second half to battle to a 44-44 tie after a Michael Bowlers free throw. The stalemate was broken at the 8:01 mark when Austin Duncan deposited a jump shot before Darius Washington drained a trey to give the Eagles a 59-54 lead. The Eagles stretched their lead to seven with just under three-minute remaining after a Draig Ruff jump shot.
A Joshua Brooks driving layup with 22-seconds left pulled the Scots to a single possession (67-65), but a late MC turnover allowed Eastern to seal the victory.
Maryville shot only 31% from the floor in the second half including a 1-for-17 effort from long distance.
For the game, Maryville controlled the boards with a 50-37 advantage. Eastern hit 39% of their shots while going 6-for-15 from three-point distance. The Scots could not find their perimeter attack going only 5-for-29 (17%) while hitting only 36% from the floor during the challenge.
Eastern (2-0) was paced by Austin Duncan's 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Darius Washington added 15 points while Michael Bowlers and Draig Ruff each posted 11 points. Bowlers completed a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
"I believe we had some pretty good looks, but could not knock down our shots tonight," stated Maryville College Head Coach Randy Lambert. "What concerned me more was our lack of maturity and with eight seniors this should not be an issue. Our team as a whole did not play as an experienced unit tonight. I know we will pick it up and get it going."
The Scots will host Emory & Henry College at 3:00 on Sunday to conclude the 2018 Maryville College Invitational.