Salukis beat Drake again, extend winning streak to 12Mar 2, 2007 - 11:11 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- No. 11 Southern Illinois used its trademark defense to shackle Drake again.
Ranked fourth in the nation in defense, the Salukis forced 22 turnovers and limited Drake to 40 percent shooting in a 71-59 victory in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Jamaal Tatum and Matt Shaw scored 19 points apiece for Southern Illinois (26-5), which beat Drake for the 17th straight time and extended its overall winning streak to 12 games.
The Salukis face fourth-seeded Bradley in the tournament semifinals on Saturday. Bradley beat fifth-seeded Northern Iowa, 51-48.
"Tournament play is different when you know you may have to play three games in three days," said Tatum, the MVC Player of the Year. "We just have to let our defense dictate the game."
Klayton Korver led Drake (17-15) with 14 points. The ninth-seeded Bulldogs had beaten Evansville, 101-96, in a first-round game Thursday night.
Southern Illinois has won the conference tournament five times, including last season. It has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the last five years.
Even if the Salukis fail to earn the automatic berth that comes with winning the conference tournament, they likely will get an at-large bid.
"We can't think about seeding in the NCAA Tournament and all that stuff," Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said. "We can only think about who we're playing here. We can't lose focus on that. Once you start worrying things like seeding that's when you can find yourself in trouble."
Southern Illinois, which allowed just 56.2 points per game during the regular season, limited the Bulldogs to just 19 in the first half.
"They (the Salukis) don't stop coming at you," said Korver, the younger brother of Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter Kyle Korver. "You tend to rush your shot when you play against them."
Southern Illinois led by 11 at the half and increased the advantage to as many as 17 points in the second half.
The Bulldogs pulled no closer than eight points in the second half.
"It was hard to adjust after playing Thursday night," said Drake forward Ajay Calvin, who finished with 12 points. "You want to go, but their defense is just too good."
Josh Young especially struggled. After scoring 23 points in the win over Evansville, he made just 2-of-9 shots and finished with nine points.
Drake committed four turnovers and made just 1-of-7 shots as the Salukis raced to a 14-4 lead in the first seven minutes.
But the Bulldogs responded with the next nine points on shots from the arc by Calvin, Young and Korver.
Southern Illinois then closed the half with a 16-6 run as Tatum connected on a pair of 3-pointers.
After Al Stewart opened the second half with a basket for Drake, Tony Young hit a 3-pointer, a layup and a short jumper to increase Southern Illinois' lead to 37-21 with 17:19 left.
After Korver hit a pair of free throw to pull the Bulldogs within 56-47 with 3:29 left, Shaw made two free throws and Tatum completed a three-point play to rebuild the lead to 14 points.
Southern Illinois made 17-of-21 free throws in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
- MISSOURI VALLEY CONF TR
AT ST LOUIS MO
NCAA BB MISSOURI VALLEY CONF TR
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
DRAKE 19 40 59
SOUTHN ILLINOIS (11) 30 41 71 FINAL
Mar 2 3:15 PM
- MISSOURI VALLEY CONF TR
AT ST LOUIS MO
NCAA BB DRAKE 19
SOUTHN ILLINOIS (11) 30 HALFTIME
Mar 2 1:49 PM
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