Eastern Illinois upsets Tennessee State in OVC opener, 73-71 - WSMV News 4

Eastern Illinois upsets Tennessee State in OVC opener, 73-71

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Ray Crossland missed one chance to clinch Eastern Illinois' first-round upset of Tennessee State in a first-round Ohio Valley Conference tournament game, but he redeemed himself by blocking a 3-point try by Delano Spencer with a second left to preserve a 73-71 win Wednesday night.

The No. 7 seed, Eastern Illinois advances to face No. 3 Austin Peay in a quarterfinal battle Thursday.

After hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute, Crossland stepped to the line with four seconds left with the chance to turn a two-point lead into a two-possession advantage. But he missed both free throws. The Tigers got the ball to Spencer, who hit two layups and a 3-pointer in the final :21 seconds to get Tennessee State within two points, but Crossland got a hand on his 3-point try.

Eastern Illinois held an 11-point advantage with just over five minutes to play after Montell Goodwin hit a jumper. Darreon Reddick hit a 3-pointer, Spencer turned a 3-point play, Armani Chaney and Stokley Chaffee Jr. both hit 3s and Tennessee State, the No. 6 seed, had cut its deficit to just three, 65-62.

Mack Smith answered with a 3 with 1:04 left and Crossland hit the first of two free throws to push the lead to 69-62 with :43 left. Spenser was fouled behind the arc and hit 2 of 3 from the line to make it 69-64, but DeVantae' Price added a free throw with :34 left.

Crossland finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Goodwin finished with 20 points to lead the Panthers (12-18) and Mack Smith added 15 points.

Spencer had 17 points to lead Tennessee State (15-15). Christian Mekowulu scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Chaney added 15 points.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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