Austin Peay (11-15/4-7 OVC) at Eastern Illinois (11-13/7-4 OVC)
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 | 8:00pm CT
Charleston, IL | Lantz Arena
Charleston, IL – Eastern Illinois’ dramatic 87-86 overtime victory against Austin Peay, January 23rd, was the spark the Panthers needed. And since then EIU has run off five straight victories, including four Ohio Valley Conference verdicts along the way.Their recent hot streak has left the Panthers alone atop the OVC West standings with a 7-4 record after taking care of business with Southeast Missouri, 78-69, Saturday, in Lantz Arena.
The reason? Austin Peay took care of Murray State, 76-73, utilizing a 7-0 run to end the game and stun the Racers in CFSB Arena, also Saturday. That knocked the Racers from a first-place tie.
As a result, for a second straight game the Governors will have the task of going on the road to play the OVC West leader, this time 8:00pm, Wednesday, at Lantz Arena.
The APSU-Eastern Illinois contest will be televised by the American Sports Network on approximately 100 stations around the country and will be available locally on WUXP (MyTV 30) out of Nashville. Dave Armstrong and Mark Adams will have the call. This will be the Governors’ fifth straight road game as they seek to end the trip 3-2.
Eastern Illinois is one of the OVC’s best balanced teams offensively in the OVC. Four players average in double figures, led by senior forward Trae Anderson, who is averaging 14.3 points per outing. A preseason All-OVC choice, Anderson is coming off a 27-point outing against Southeast Missouri. Guard Demetrius McReynolds had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Redhawks and is averaging 11.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
But it is point guard Cornell Johnston who triggers everything for the Panthers. Like Anderson a preseason All-OVC selection, Johnston is averaging 11.0 points per contest while averaging 5.6 assists per game. He also keeps defenses honest by leading EIU in three pointers made with 49.
It is on the offensive end where EIU has excelled in its recent win streak. They are averaging nearly 77 points per game in their last four OVC contests while holding their last two opponents to fewer than 70 points.
Guard Josh Robinson scored all 12 of his second-half points in the final 7:32, including two free throws with 5.7 seconds left to tie the game and then give APSU the lead. Robinson finished with 21 points.
Despite constant attention, Chris Horton led the Govs offensively with 29 points and 10 rebounds—his 19th double-double this season. However, it was his defense that turned the tide in the closing minute.
After the Govs cut the lead to one, 73-72, on a Zach Glotta three pointer with 30 seconds left, Horton, playing centerfield on the press, stepped in front a pass near midcourt to come up with a steal.
That set up Robinson’s drive to the basket where he was fouled. The two free throws were part of an 11-of-12 night for the sophomore at the line.
Now the Governors must put the emotion of that victory behind it and attempt to replicate the second-half effort for an entire contest at Charleston.
TV • American Sports Network • WXUP
Play-by-Play: Dave Armstrong
Analyst: Mark Adams
Producer: Jeff Graham
Radio • Governors Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Scott Chase
Analyst: David Loos