N. Iowa 67, S. Illinois 61

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP)—Ben Jacobson shrugged off a bout with the flu to score 18 points and Erik Crawford added 16, leading Northern Iowa to a 67-61 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday night.

Grant Stout added nine points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers (16-7, 7-5 Missouri Valley), who built a 12-point lead in the first half and trailed just once.

It was only the 10th regular-season conference game that Southern Illinois (17-6, 8-3) has lost since the start of the 2001-02 season. Three of those losses have been at Northern Iowa.

Darren Brooks led Southern Illinois with 14 points, Stetson Hairston scored 13 and Matt Shaw 10.

Southern Illinois took its only lead at 44-43 on LaMar Owen’s jumper with 14:49 remaining. The score was tied twice after that, the second time at 51 when SIU’s Jamaal Tatum hit a 3-pointer.

Northern Iowa’s Brooks McKowen sank two free throw less than a minute later to break the tie, starting an 11-4 run that Stout capped with a dunk, making it 62-55 with 4:26 to play.

Brooks’ 3-pointer drew the Salukis to 62-61 with 1:11 remaining, but the Panthers wrapped it up with free throws—three by Jacobson and two by Stout. Jacobson had battled the flu for several days and was given fluids intravenously at halftime.

Crawford scored eight points early to help Northern Iowa charge to a 31-19 lead. SIU answered with a 13-2 run, drawing to 33-32 on Randal Falker’s basket with 1:11 left in the half. Chris Foster’s two free throws gave the Panthers a 35-32 halftime lead.

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