JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Jason Burnell scored 18 points and Marlon Hunter added 15 as Jacksonville State rallied in the second half to defeat Eastern Illinois 69-62 in an early meeting of Ohio Valley Conference unbeaten teams on Thursday.
Jacksonville State (11-5, 3-0) led by a point at halftime but surged ahead 39-29 when Burnell buried back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half.
Eastern Illinois (9-7, 2-1) grabbed a short-lived 49-44 lead midway through the second half with a 10-0 run. Kashawn Charles and Mack Smith hit back-to-back 3s in the rally.
Gregory dunked and converted the 3-point play to kick off a 13-0 run for the Gamecocks late in the game to seal the win. Eastern Illinois came no closer than four points in the final five minutes. Each time the Panthers closed, Jacksonville State responded with a 3-pointer — one by Burnell and another by Detric Mostella, who finished with 12 points and three treys.
Ben Harvey and Josiah Wallace each scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.