The Golden Eagles (9-14, 3-8 Ohio Valley Conference) led 25-24 at halftime, then opened the second half with a 20-6 run. Jeremiah Samarrippas scored six of his 15 points during the 9-minute run.
Jacksonville State (15-8, 7-5), which beat Tennessee Tech 83-62 on Dec. 19, got within 10 points, 63-53, with 6:29 left. An aggressive foul was called against Jacksonville State on the Golden Eagles' next possession, leading to two technicals for arguing being charged against Gamecocks coach James Green, resulting in his ejection. Along with the personal foul and technical charged on the play, Tennessee Tech got eight free throws and made seven for a 17-point lead.
Despite departures that will hurt the frontcourt depth, the Buckeyes return their top six scorers and will have experience in the starting lineup.
Ben Bentil said that he will remain in the NBA draft and said he is "ready for the next chapter in my life."
Christian Kessee, Coppin State's leading scorer last season, has officially transferred to Memphis. The school announced the move Friday.
|Southeast Missouri State||2-14||8||5-24|