SIU 67, Wyoming 62

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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP)—Southern Illinois, led by Darren Brooks’ 16 points, scored eight unanswered points in the last 4 minutes, 39 seconds to defeat Wyoming 67-62 Saturday.

Josh Warren added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Bryan Turner and Tony Young each contributed 10 points for Southern Illinois (1-0).

Wyoming (0-1) was led by Jay Straight’s 15 points. No other Cowboy player scored in double figures as Wyoming struggled with 33-percent shooting from the field (18-54).

Wyoming head coach Steve McClain noted that three Cowboys made their first career starts.

“Hopefully they’ll learn and we’ll get better,” he said. “We had four or five wide-open, point-blank shots and they just didn’t go down.”

The Salukis made 39 percent (22-66).

Salukis coach Matt Painter credited his team for its defensive effort. “Obviously our defense is way ahead of our offense right now. We take a lot of pride in our defense,” he said.

Wyoming held the lead for most of the game including 30-25 at the half and a pair of nine-point leads twice early in the second half.

“We just couldn’t shake them,” McClain said. “That is to their credit. They’ve won a lot of games over the past couple of years and their kids kept fighting.”

Southern Illinois went to the NCAA tournament the last two seasons.

Southern Illinois battled back, tying the game at 59 on a putback by Sylvester Willis at the 6:41 mark. Wyoming regained a 62-59 lead with 5:22 to go on free throws by Mory Correa and Joe Ries.

But the Cowboys wouldn’t score again the rest of the game. Southern Illinois got baskets from LaMar Owen, Warren and Jamaal Tatum, and two free throws by Brooks to finish the game.

“We’ve got a lot to work on. They are a good team. We’ll get better,” Wyoming forward Joe Ries said.

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