The Racers (25-4, 15-0 Ohio Valley) scored the first 12 points and led 20-5 before EIU countered with a 16-5 run to get within 25-21. Murray State closed the half with nine straight to lead 34-21.
Eastern Illinois (16-13, 9-7) rallied from a 55-38 deficit at 8:33 to within 61-54 on Reggie Smith's 3-pointer with 1:48 left. Payne made four free throws for the Racers to secure the win.
Jarvis Williams added 17 points and nine rebounds. T.J. Sapp had 14 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Chris Olivier scored 17 and Trae Anderson added 13 to lead the Panthers.
Murray State coach Steve Prohm reached 100 career wins in his fourth season, the fastest in program history to reach the milestone.