Eastern Illinois escapes from NAIA opponent

USA TODAY Sports

EIU gets it's first win but are left with more questions after being challenged by Olivet Nazarene

Going into this season, some have predicted Eastern Illinois to finish as high as fifth in the OVC overall and second in the west. Although that still may happen, the Panthers gave me no reason to believe it will as they struggled all night to the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene.

The Tigers cut the lead to three several times in the closing minutes but never had the ball with a chance to tie the score as EIU converted big free throws down the stretch.

Alex Austin's steal and lay-up with just over a minute to play sealed it for EIU. Austin led all scorers with 18.

Final Thought: EIU went 11-21 a season ago, they may be improved but finishing .500 won't happen this season either.

Eastern Kentucky 114 Warren Wilson 45

I don't know who this Warren Wilson guy is but he wasn't any match for the Colonel's who hit 20 threes in tonight's game, tying an OVC record

EKU had three players score at least 20 points led by Glenn Cosey who dropped 26.

Final Thought: I understand every team will rack up a few wins against weaker opponents in their out of conference schedule but do games that result in 69 point blow outs help either party?

Saint Louis 82 SIU-E 58

SIU-Edwardsville fell to 0-2 on the early season after the thrashing they received from the Billikens tonight.

The Cougars hung in for the opening 10 minutes but Saint Louis used a 16-0 run to extend their lead to 31-13 and never looked back.

The Billikens were led by Dwayne Evans who had 14 points and 6 assists. For SIU-E Donivine Stewart was the leading scorer with 14 points.

Final Thought: It was nice to see the Sam M. Vadalabene Center sold out and the place was loud to start the game. The fans have shown their commitment to this program which will win some games this year and may even find themselves playing a game in Nashville come OVC tournament time.

Arkansas State 72 UT-Martin 62

The Skyhawks have dropped their first three games to start the season but had a real chance to collect their first win tonight.

After a Javier Martinez lay up with 17:21 to play, UTM cut the lead to one at 42-41. Arkansas State then went on a 12-2 run and the Skyhawks never got back within two possessions.

Marshawn Newell finished with 18 points to lead the Skyhawks.

Final Thought: UT-Martin was playing without their star forward, Mike Liabo who is still suspended. With Liabo I believe UTM wins this game.

Tomorrow's OVC games:

Belmont vs Indiana State 7:00 PM

Austin Peay at #13 Memphis 7:00 PM ESPN3 (Game of the night)

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