Tech hosts Southeast Missouri Tuesday in final action before break
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Zac Swansey's only basket of the game was the biggest shot of the afternoon. The junior guard canned a 15-footer from the right wing with 4.5 seconds remaining to account for the winning margin as Tennessee Tech escaped with a 65-64 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Eastern Illinois Sunday in a regionally televised game at the Eblen Center.
Eastern Illinois (4-7/1-2 OVC) had fought back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to steal a 64-63 lead in the final minute. After Swansey's basket, the Panthers got the ball to Jeremy Granger for a last-second try but his driving bank shot was long and the horn sounded before the Panthers could get off another try.
The win kept the Golden Eagles unbeaten in league play at 2-0 and brought them back to 4-5 overall mark with Southeast Missouri scheduled to pay a visit Tuesday night.
Junior guard Zach Bailey (photo above right) kick-started the Tech attack three times, including twice when the Panthers threatened as the Golden Eagles maintained a double-digit lead for most of the night.
Bailey scored the first four points of the game, then hit a pair of huge 3-pointers when Eastern Illinois looked to rally, giving the Golden Eagles some breathing room. Tech's largest lead of the night was a 17-point bulge, 57-40, with 11:16 to play when freshman Chase Dunn converted a three-point play.
When Kevin Murphy scored a driving layup with 5:50 to go, the Golden Eagles were on top by a dozen, 63-51.
From there, the Panthers went on a 13-0 run, capped by a jumper from James Hollowell with 1:13 to play to put EIU on top, 64-63. Hollowell scored six points in the run.
Senior post Alfred Jones led Tech with 13 points and six rebounds, while Bailey finished with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Murphy also reached double digits, adding 10 points and eight assists. Dennis Ogbe scored nine while Dunn had eight.
Swansey dished out a game-high eight assists and added three steals.
Curry McKinney and Jeremy Granger each netted 15 to pace the Panthers. McKinney added four rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Granger had five rebounds and three assists.
Hollowell also reached double figures, finising with 12 points and seven rebounds.