EIU, SIUE Men Claim Victories

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Published on January 25 2013 1:54 pm
Last Updated on January 25 2013 1:54 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois had four players score in double figures Thursday night as the Panthers powered past UT Martin, 69-56, to win their second straight Ohio Valley Conference game.

EIU improved to 5-16, 2-6 in the OVC.  UTM fell to 4-16, 1-7 in the OVC.  The Panthers will host Southeast Missouri on Saturday with the game serving as Kid’s Day and Coaches vs. Cancer Day.

EIU jumped out to a 13-2 lead with Morris Woods scoring six points on lay-ups and Josh Piper adding five early points.  Austin Akers capped the run with a lay-up at 13:56.

The Panthers would hit a scoring draught in the next five minutes as UTM rallied to take a 17-15 lead at the 8:18 mark as Mike Liabo drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Both teams traded the lead over the remainder of the half.  Malcolm Herron hit a 3-pointer to put EIU up 27-26 with 2:06 left.  UTM answered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Terence Smith and Bobby Jones to lead 32-27 at the half.  Herron had 13 points for EIU while Smith scored 13 for the Skyhawks.

Myles Taylor extended the Skyhawks lead to eight points with a 3-pointer to open the half and had UTM up 38-30 with a jumper in the paint. Taylor led all players with 21 points.

After shooting 52 percent from the floor in the opening half EIU continued that hot shooting in the second half as the Panthers were 12-of-23 from the floor in both halves finishing the game at 52 percent.

Alex Austin hit a 3-pointer to start an 8-0 EIU run.  Woods scored on a driving lay-up to tie the game at 38-38 with 15:37 left.  Woods finished with his first career double-double scoring 15 points to go with 11 rebounds.

Sherman Blanford broke the final tie of the game with a lay-up with 12:33 remaining and EIU pushed the margin to 51-43 on a three point play by Blanford.  The junior forward had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Taylor closed the EIU lead to four points with 4:59 left to play but the Skyhawks would get no closer.  EIU scored its final ten points of the game at the free throw line finishing 14-of-20 from the stripe.

EIU won the battle on the glass by a 37-26 margin, the second straight game that EIU has held a double digit rebound margin over its opponent.  Piper closed out the EIU scoring with ten points.

UTM shot 30 percent in the second half and 39 percent for the game.

SIUE beats Southeast Missouri, 80-77

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Mark Yelovich and Jerome Jones combined to score 33 points Thursday, and SIUE men's basketball won for the third time in four games, defeating Southeast Missouri 80-77 in Ohio Valley Conference action at the Vadalabene Center.

"I thought our defense was key tonight. we got some stops that led to easy buckets on the other end," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said.  "I also thought we executed offensively as well. We got some wide open shots instead of having to take bad shots."

The win moved the Cougars, now 7-10 overall and 3-4 in the OVC, into second place in the OVC West Division just ahead of SEMO.

The Cougars used a 26-4 run over a nearly 12-minute span of the second half to erase a nine-point SEMO lead. A three-pointer by Jones gave SIUE its largest lead at 65-52.

Yelovich poured in a season-high 24 points. He connected on 9 of 15 field goals, setting season highs for made baskets and attempts. Yelovich also led SIUE with eight rebounds, tying his season high.

"It's nice to have Mark back healthy," Forrester said of the senior. "He's a tough guy to guard for other teams, and our offense needs him to be healthy going forward."