Eastern Illinois tops UT Martin in OT in OVC opener
CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Josiah Wallace poured in 27 points and Rade Kukobat sank a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to help Eastern Illinois hold on for a 92-87 victory over Tennessee-Martin in an Ohio Valley Conference opener on Thursday night.
Neither team scored in the extra period until Mack Smith sank a 3-pointer to give Eastern Illinois (8-6) an 85-82 lead with 3:09 left. Quintin Dove’s layup pulled the Skyhawks (5-7) within a point with 2:35 to go. Kukobat kept a Panthers’ possession alive when he rebounded a Wallace miss and later took a pass from Shareef Smith and nailed the crucial 3-pointer for an 88-84 lead. Ben Harvey and Smith each hit two free throws in the final 17 seconds to wrap up the win.
Wallace hit 9 of 19 shots but just 2 of 9 from distance for the Panthers. He added six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Smith pitched in with 16 points and six assists and Kukobat finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Mack Smith scored 12 on 4-of-11 shooting from 3-point range.
Preston Parks came off the bench to hit five 3s and score 21 for UT Martin. Fellow reserves Delfincko Bogan and Fatodd Lewis scored 15 and 14, respectively. Bogan added seven boards and four assists, while Lewis snagged nine rebounds. The three subs accounted for 50 of the Skyhawks’ 87 points.