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Season on the bubbl

Salukis watch

Season on the Bubble
By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

SIU 78, Illinois St. 62

NORMAL, Ill. -- Darren Brooks had 20 points and nine rebounds as Southern Illinois, which leaped to a season-best 38th in the RPI, pulled away from the Redbirds on Monday night.

Kent Williams scored 18 and Jermaine Dearman, who earlier was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the week, added 17 as the regular-season champion Salukis (22-5, 16-2) won their fifth in a row and 12th in 13 games. Illinois State (7-20, 5-13) had won three of four.

The Redbirds led only twice, at 7-6 and 9-8, but stayed within striking distance and tied it at 32 early in the second half. They were down 49-43 when Dearman's jumper triggered a 9-0 run. Illinois State never got closer than 13 after that.

UP NEXT: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, 1 p.m. Saturday.

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