ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Rade Kukobat made a pair of free throws with three seconds left to push Eastern Illinois past Gardner-Webb 79-78 on Friday.
Gardner-Webb trailed 77-74 with 52 seconds left when Christian Turner made a pair of free throws to pull the Bulldogs to 77-76. Turner then forced a turnover, and following Bulldogs' timeout, Gardner-Webb took a 78-77 lead on David Efianayi's jumper with eight seconds to go. But Nate Johnson fouled Kukobat following timeouts from both teams.
Efianayi was 6 of 10 from the floor and made seven free throws to lead Gardner-Webb (1-4) with 20 points. Johnson added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 16-6 run and led 51-44, but Gardner-Webb tied it at 53 then neither team led by more than four points.