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Season on the bubble

Southern Illinois 70, No.17 Creighton 62

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2003

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Kent Williams scored 24 and Jermaine Dearman 18 to lead Southern Illinois, which clinched the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and a share of the league title Saturday. Creighton (25-4, 14-3) and Southern Illinois (21-5, 15-2) each have one league game left.

It was the first win for the Salukis over a team ranked as high as No. 17 since Nov. 26, 1988, when they beat No. 11 Villanova. It also was SIU's first win over a ranked conference team since Jan. 19, 1978, against Indiana State.

A 3-pointer by Dearman gave Southern Illinois a 41-33 lead with 16:26 left, then the Bluejays went on a 7-0 run to pull within a point with 12:54 left.

SIU answered with a 13-4 run to take a 54-44 lead with 7:21 to go. Its biggest lead was 61-50 with 4:09 left.

Kyle Korver and Michael Lindeman each scored 10 for Creighton.

The Salukis have won 27 consecutive at home, the fourth-longest active streak in Division I, and finished 14-0 at home this season.

UP NEXT: Monday at Illinois State, 7 p.m.

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