COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jeremiah Samarrippas scored 18 points and Jordan Johnson added 12 to propel Tennessee Tech past Eastern Illinois 81-69 Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles (9-9, 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference) shot 46.9 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. Dwan Caldwell scored 11 points and Josiah Moore had 10.
Eastern Illinois (4-11, 1-3) shot 51 percent, but gave up 25 points off turnovers. Dylan Chatman led the Panthers with 14 points and Sherman Blanford chipped in 11.
Tennessee Tech led 43-36 at halftime and used a 9-2 surge to lead by 10 early in the second half. Eastern Illinois climbed back to tie the game at 59 with 7:30 remaining, but the Golden Eagles closed the game on a 12-3 run as they hit their last eight free throws. Meanwhile, the Panthers went cold, missing three field goal attempts and committing three turnovers in the final minutes.