EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) Tim Johnson scored 21 points Saturday night as SIU Edwardsville kept Central Arkansas at arm's length to win 100-93.
Donivine Stewart put the Cougars (1-2) ahead 9-6 with a 3-pointer early in the first quarter and they never trailed again, responding to Bears runs with runs of their own, maintaining a 5- to 7-point lead, and icing the game with free throws down the stretch.
Stewart scored 15 points and hit 8 of 10 free throws for SIUE, Christian Salecich scored 13, Keaton Jackson had 12 and Michael Messer 11.
Timely turnovers helped the Cougars, who shot 55.9 percent from the field and hit 30 of 37 free throws.
Jalen Jackson led the Bears (1-1) with 23 points, DeShone McClure had 22, including four 3-pointers, and Oliver Wells added 21. Central Arkansas had 36 rebounds to the Cougars' 32, but couldn't convert when it mattered.