CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Freshman Joey Miller converted a three-point play in the final minute to lift Eastern Illinois to a 65-61 victory over Loyola, Ill., in the Panthers’ home opener Wednesday night.
Miller’s points broke a 60-60 tie as Loyola was held without a basket for the final 5:23.
Alfonzo McKinnie scored 13 points and Jeremy Granger 10 for the Panthers (1-1), who shot 46.4 percent (26 of 56).
The Ramblers (0-2) got 15 points from Walt Gibler, 13 from Denzel Brito, 12 from Joe Crisman and 10 from Chim Kadima.
Eastern Illinois turned a 26-19 deficit into a 39-32 halftime lead courtesy of a 20-6 run to end the first half that was sparked by 11 points from McKinnie.
Gibler hit two free throws for a 60-58 Loyola lead with 2:18 left, but James Hollowell dunked the ball to tie it, and then Miller came up big.