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Season on the bubble

Saint Louis 71, Southern Illinois 60

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 29, 2002

Visiting Southern Illinois had 13 points and 12 turnovers in the first half, shot a season-worst 35 percent overall and had a season low for scoring Saturday. The Salukis (5-3) have lost three of four heading into conference play.

Marque Perry had 22 points and three assists for the Billikens, including four in a 6-0 run after Southern Illinois got within 53-44 with 6:19 to go.

Southern Illinois' top three scorers struggled. Stetson Hairston, who averages 15.7, didn't score until 13:15 to go and finished with 10. Kent Williams, who averages 15, had seven on 2-for-10 shooting. Jermaine Dearman, who averages 13.3 points, had six turnovers in the first half and scored 11 -- seven late in the game.

"We've got a target on our back," Southern Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "It's a good target, but we've got to realize that every team is going to play their fannies off when they play us."

UP NEXT: Drake, Thursday, 8:05 p.m.

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