Eastern Illinois had two crucial blocks in the final 1:30 of action holding Chicago State to 31 percent shooting as EIU won its second straight road game, 58-50, at the Jones Convocation Center.
Josh Piper had the first block at 1:29 after CSU collected an offensive rebound on a missed free throw. Malcolm Herron then hit a jumper in the lane to put EIU up 54-48 with 58 seconds remaining. Herron then blocked a shot with 43 seconds left as he capped his night. Herron led EIU with 14 points.
EIU jumped out to a quick 13-6 lead as Piper, Herron and Austin Akers all drained 3-pointers during the first 7:40 of the game. Piper scored five points in the final 42 seconds of the first half to stake EIU to a 27-22 halftime lead. Piper finished with 10 points. EIU shot 6-of-12 from 3-point range.
The Panthers extended the second half lead to 31-24 with 17:22 remaining as Sherman Blanford hit a jumper. EIU then turned the ball over seven straight times as Chicago State climbed back in the game. The Cougars took the lead 32-31 with 14:41 left to play as Clarke Rosenberg hit a pair of free throws. CSU was 15-of-22 from the line.
Blanford put EIU back in the lead with a jumper at 13:20 and Alex Austin made it a three point game with 12:48 left as his bucket pushed EIU’s lead to 35-32. Austin had 12 points while Blanford had seven points and 12 rebounds.
Jamere Dismukes closed EIU’s lead to one point at 12:27 but a Piper tip-in and Austin runner kept EIU’s lead at no fewer than four points the remainder of the game.
EIU improved to 10-20 on the year. The Panthers will host SIU Edwardsville at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Lantz Arena. CSU fell to 8-20 overall. The Cougars were led by Nate Duhon with 18 points.
Release Provided by Eastern Illinois Athletics