Chicago State ended an eight-game losing streak Saturday with a 77-70 win at home against Western Illinois.
The Cougars, who entered without a win against a Division I opponent, received 18 points and five assists from recently eligible guard Clemmye Owens V. Owens, a Bethune-Cookman transfer, has led Chicago State (4-9) in scoring in both games since being allowed on the floor after the fall semester.
In a high-scoring first half, Chicago State trailed by as many as five points. A buzzer-beater by Cougars guard Elliot Cole gave Chicago State a 41-40 lead at the break.
Chicago State built a six-point lead midway through the second half, but Western Illinois (7-3) fought back to take a 66-65 advantage entering the final five minutes. Senior forward Jawad Adekoya had the response for Chicago State, drilling a 3-pointer and giving the Cougars a lead they did not relinquish.
While Western Illinois shot 0-of-3 from 3-point range in the final minute, Chicago State shot 5-of-6 from the foul line in crunch time to seal its first victory since Nov. 21.
Four Chicago State players scored in double figures, with freshman guard Fred Sims Jr. (12 points), Cole (11 points) and Adekoya (10 points) supporting Owens.
The Cougars shot 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, shot 21-of-29 at the foul line and committed only seven turnovers.
After ending one long streak, Chicago State will try to end its 11-game road losing streak Monday at Marquette. The Cougars have not won a non-conference road game since Dec. 31, 2012 against Toledo.