NICEVILLE, FLA. – Dante Holmes scored 14 points — all in the first half — to pace a balanced scoring attack as North Carolina Central snapped a two-game losing streak with a 65-40 victory past Eastern Illinois in the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic Friday afternoon.
North Carolina Central, which competed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, improved to 2-3.
Holmes hit three three-point baskets triggering a 17-4 scoring spurt by the Eagles that turned a 7-5 lead into a 24-9 cushion with 6:41 left in the first period.
Jordan Parks added 13 points and nine rebounds for North Carolina Central, while Karamo Jawara collected 12 points and six boards. Anthony McDonald netted 11 points for the Eagles.
Eastern Illinois couldn’t overcome cold shooting, hitting just 31.8 percent from the floor converting 14 of 44 shots.
The Panthers got off to a sluggish start in the opening period shooting 26.1 percent from the field.
Reggie Smith scored 15 points and Letrell VIser had 10 for Eastern Illinois which fell to 1-6.
North Carolina Central outrebounded Eastern Illinois, 33-23.