EVANSVILLE, Ind. – D.J. Balentine had 38 points and Evansville squandered a 25-point second-half lead, but escaped with a 104-98 overtime victory against Illinois State on Wednesday night.
Evansville (11-15, 4-9 Missouri Valley) trailed 98-97 in overtime when Balentine gave them the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 1:09 left.
After Illinois State (13-12, 6-7) failed to answer, Jaylon Brown made two free throws to extend the lead to 102-98. Brown, who entered the game a 44.7 percent free-throw shooter, made two more with 8 seconds left to seal the win.
Evansville extended a 54-33 halftime lead to 74-49 with 11:54 left, but the Redbirds went on a 43-17 run and took their first lead of the game at 92-91 with 58 seconds left.
Nick Zeisloft scored 18 points for ISU, which nearly surpassed its largest comeback victory in program history — a 21-point comeback against Butler on Nov. 27, 1989.