Eastern Illinois wins 67-61 to advance in OVC tournament
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Josiah Wallace scored 25 points and sixth-seeded Eastern Illinois defeated No. 7 seed Jacksonville State 67-61 in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament Wednesday night.
The Panthers (17-14), who won their fifth straight game, will take on third-seeded Austin Peay on Thursday.
Wallace was 10-of-19 shooting. Mack Smith added 17 points and made three 3-pointers. He extended his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 80, the longest active streak and the second-longest in Division I history (Cory Bradford, Illinois, 88). Kashawn Charles scored 12 points.
Jacara Cross led Jacksonville State (13-19) with 16 points and Ty Hudson scored 13. Kayne Henry grabbed 10 rebounds.
A 13-2 run gave the Panthers their largest lead of 15 points with just under 12 minutes left in the game. The Gamecocks got within four with a minute to go but six EIU free throws after that ensured the win.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by JaQualis Matlock and Charles late in the first half put the Panthers ahead for good and they led by five at halftime.