Recap: Eastern Ill vs. Tennessee St
Charleston, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Oliver tipped the ball in with two seconds left as the Eastern Illinois Panthers held on to beat the Tennessee State Tigers 70-69 in an Ohio Valley Conference contest at Lantz Arena.
Sherman Blanford led the Panthers (4-8, 1-0 OVC) with 15 points. Oliver had a double-double with 14 points and 15 boards while Alex Austin and Reggie Smith had 10 points apiece.
Patrick Miller tied his career-high with 30 points for the Tigers (1-13, 0-1). Jacquan Nobles added 14 points while M.J. Rhett had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Neither team shot particularly well in the first half but the Panthers were better and took a 33-28 lead into the break. Eastern Illinois shot 38.7 percent from the floor and 3-of-10 from 3-point range. The Tigers made 26.9 percent of their field goal attempts and 3-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Tennessee State was the superior team in the second half by shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Eastern Illinois only made 39.3 percent of its field goal tries and went 4-of-15 from behind the 3- point line. With 33 seconds remaining Austin hit a 3-pointer to cut the Tigers' lead to one. Jay Harris was then fouled and missed a free-throw attempt on the Tigers' next possession. The Panthers collected the rebound and on the other end Blanford got two shot attempts before Oliver finally tipped in the winning basket.
Eastern Illinois held a 40-32 advantage in rebounding. The Panthers had strong bench play, as their reserves outscored the Tigers' 21-8.Game Notes