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College basketball

Salukis watch

SIU 72, Northern Iowa 61

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Kent Williams scored 20 and Jermaine Dearman, playing on an ankle he twisted in practice Tuesday, had 15 points and 14 rebounds as Southern Illinois won its 23rd straight home game Thursday night.

The Salukis (17-4, 12-1 MVC) extended the nation's sixth-longest home winning streak to move back into a first-place tie with 12th-ranked Creighton.

SIU led 55-52 with 7:32 left before Williams' 3-pointer triggered a 9-0 run. Darren Brooks had a steal and a layup, Williams a short jumper and Brad Korn a pullup jumper during the run, which put the Salukis up 64-52 with 4:40 remaining.

The Panthers answered with seven straight points, but after a Saluki timeout Brooks worked free for a layup and Sylvester Willis' steal set up a Dearman layup to put SIU ahead 68-59.

UP NEXT: at Bradley, 3:05 p.m. Saturday.

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