CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) LeTrell Viser hit some key 3-pointers and Cornell Johnston sank a pair of clutch free throws with two seconds remaining as Eastern Illinois held off a surging Northern Illinois 59-55 on Saturday night.
Viser, with 16 points and four steals, scored in bunches. He put up a quick eight points with two 3-pointers to launch Eastern Illinois (4-6) into an early lead.
Northern Illinois (3-3) scrapped back with a 13-5 run to open the second half, going up 39-36, and the teams battled through the next nine minutes with five lead changes and two ties until Viser dropped back-to-back 3 pointers to lift Panthers into the lead for good, 53-48.
Dylan Chatman also hit four 3-pointers for Eastern Illinois, scoring 14, and Johnston and Trae Anderson scored 9 each.
Northern Illinois, which made 7 of 27 shots before halftime, was led by Darrell Bowie’s 14 and 13 from Jordan Treloff.