NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Robert Covington scored 22 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Tennessee State to a 66-62 victory over Eastern Illinois on Saturday night.
The Tigers (14-15, 10-8 Ohio Valley Conference) outscored Eastern Illinois 8-4 in the final 3:55 to win their third consecutive game and head into the conference tournament, which begins Wednesday, as the fifth seed.
Eastern Illinois (9-20, 4-14) didn't qualify.
After the Panthers tied the score at 58, Tennessee State scored the next five points for a 63-58 lead with 42 seconds left. Curry McKinney's jumper cut the deficit to 63-60, but Wil Peters and Jacquan Nobles combined for three free throws and a 66-60 cushion with 17 seconds left.
Peters and Kenny Moore had 11 points each and Patrick Miller scored 10.
McKinney scored 19 points and James Hollowell had 14 for Eastern Illinois.
There were nine ties and eight lead changes.
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