Eastern Illinois beats NAIA St. Francis (ILL) 83-41

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) Demetrius McReynolds scored 18 points with four assists as Eastern Illinois beat NAIA St. Francis (ILL) 83-41 in a season opener on Friday night.

McReynolds was 7 of 8 from the field, including two from distance for the Panthers. Montell Goodwin added 15 points and Muusa Dama led the team in rebounds with nine in addition to scoring six points. The Panthers averaged 55.4 percent from the field and 65 percent from the line.

Eastern Illinois took a 40-22 lead at the break. In the second period, McReynolds, Goodwin and Cornell Johnston combined for four 3-pointers to help the Panthers to a 63-31 lead with 11:31 left to play and they cruised to the win from there.

Jo Jo Ballestero scored 13 points for the Fighting Saints. Jean Pietrzak led the team with five rebounds.