First-Team All-Ohio Valley Conference forward Tyler Stone scored a game-high 27 points to lead sixth-seeded Southeast Missouri (18-13) to a commanding 79-61 win over seventh-seeded Eastern Illinois (11-19) Wednesday night in the first round of the OVC Tournament.

Stone, who battled flu-like symptoms Tuesday, guided Southeast to its fifth win in a row as the Redhawks matched their longest winning streak of the season. Southeast also eliminated the Panthers for the second-straight year.

The Redhawks picked up their 18thwin, marking just the fourth time they posted 18 or more victories in a season during their NCAA Division I era. Southeast last reached 18 wins in a season in 2000-01 (18-12).

“I thought the difference in tonight‘s game was transition basketball and our bench,” said Southeast head coach Dickey Nutt. “I was pleased with how we played overall and was happy to get that first win under our belt.”

The Redhawks advance to the OVC Tournament quarterfinals for the fourth-straight year and will have a date with No. 3 Eastern Kentucky on Thursday at 8 p.m, CT. story courtesy