CHARLESTON, Ill. — Jeremy Granger went 4-for-4 from the foul line during the last 35 seconds of overtime Wednesday night, capping Eastern Illinois’ prolific free-throw shooting that paved the way for an 85-80 men’s basketball victory over the University of Maine at Lantz Arena.
The Panthers (4-2) were awarded 35 free throws to Maine’s four and outscored the Black Bears 26-4 from the line to gain the upper hand.
Joey Miller went 10-for-10 from the foul line and Granger sank eight of 10 in the effort for the hosts.
Granger’s jumper with 2:43 remaining in the overtime broke a 78-78 tie and gave Eastern Illinois the lead for good.
Maine missed its next three shots and Granger connected from the free throw line to make it 81-78.
Raheem Singleton’s layup cut the lead to 81-80 with 27 seconds left but the Black Bears never scored again and Granger hit his four free throws.
UMaine (2-2) was plagued by foul trouble as Alasdair Fraser played only 18 minutes and Justin Edwards logged 26 minutes.
Gerald McLemore sparked the Bears with a game-high 26 points that included 5-for-12 shooting from the 3-point arc. His four-point play on a 3-pointer and a foul shot with 14 seconds left in regulation helped UMaine overcome a 10-point deficit in the final 49 seconds to force the extra period.
Andrew Rogers triggered the rally with a 3-pointer.
Miller’s two free throws extended the lead to 73-64 with 41 seconds left but McLemore hit a three to cut it to 73-67.
Alfonzo McKinnie sank a free throw for Eastern Illinois with 33 seconds left before an Edwards dunk and another McLemore three-pointer off an Edwards steal and pass sliced it to 74-72.
Two Miller free throws made it 76-72 before McLemore tied it with his four-point play.
Edwards had 14 points for Maine, Singleton provided 13 points and seven rebounds, Rogers registered 11 points, six assists and five steals and Fraser added six points and seven rebounds.
McKinnie logged a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, helping Eastern Illinois earn a 42-39 edge on the boards.
Miller finished with 19 points, Granger contributed 14 points and eight assists and L.C. Doss chipped in with 12 points.