SE Missouri 78, E. Illinois 68
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)
Tyler Stone scored 24 points off the bench, shooting 11 of 12 from the field, as Southeast Missouri won its third straight game by defeating Eastern Illinois 78-68 Wednesday night in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
The sixth-seeded Redhawks (17-15) shot 63 percent in the first half (17 of 27), including 6 of 12 3-pointers, to lead 42-29 at the break. The No. 7-seeded Panthers (11-21), who came in riding a three-game winning streak, could get no closer than 10 in the second half.
Southeast Missouri opened OVC tournament play with a win three years in a row for the first time in school history and secured its first winning season since 2004-05.
Corey Wilford and Marland Smith added 14 points apiece for the Redhawks and Lucas Nutt had a season-high 12 assists.
Josh Piper scored 19 points and Alex Austin 17 for the Panthers.