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Mallett, Missouri St. top Southern Illinois 77-72

Feb 11, 2010 - 3:46 AM SPRINGFIELD, Mo.(AP) -- Jermaine Mallett scored 22 points and Will Creekmore 19 as Missouri State held off Southern Illinois for a 77-72 victory Wednesday night.

Missouri State (17-8, 7-7 Missouri Valley) watched a 10-point second-half lead evaporate after Southern Illinois (13-11, 5-9) went on a 22-5 run to take a 55-46 lead with 11:09 left.

But the Salukis' shooting turned cold midway through the half. They went nearly seven minutes without a field goal before Kevin Dillard hit a basket with 34 seconds left to pull them within 70-67.

A 3-pointer by Justin Bocot cut Missouri State's lead to 73-72 with 16 seconds left, but Mallett made four consecutive free throws to seal his team's win.

Kyle Weems added 11 for Missouri State.

Bocot led Southern Illinois with 14, and Carlton Fay added 12. Dillard and Gene Teague each finished with 11.