Southern Illinois edges Holy Cross, advance to second roundMar 17, 2007 - 6:41 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- It wasn't pretty, but reserve Tony Boyle and Southern Illinois will take it.
Boyle scored all of his career-high 14 points in the second half as the fourth-seeded Salukis posted a 61-51 triumph in the West Region over No. 13 seed Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Randal Falker collected 12 points and eight rebounds and Matt Shaw scored 11 for the Southern Illinois, which will return to the court on Sunday against fifth-seeded Virginia Tech in the second round.
This will be the second matchup between the two teams this season, with Virginia Tech posted a 69-64 road victory on November 26.
"We played (Virginia Tech) so long ago it will not be that much of an advantage," Falker said. "We are a different team and they are a different team. "We just have to be the underdog the whole way through."
With Shaw injuring his left ankle toward the end of the first half, Boyle came off the bench and provided a spark. He went 4-of-5 from the floor and made 6-of-8 free throws.
"I've been on (Boyle) quite a bit his three years here and for him to reward it like this hopefully something that makes him take off in the future," Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said.
"It was probably the longest I've played in a row all year," said Boyle, who registered 21 minutes. "I got a little tired, its just a throw of the marbles, you just have to suck it up and go."
Lowery is optimistic regarding the return of Shaw.
"I didn't know if he came back on the bench, so I don't know," Lowery said. "At this point, I addressed the team, he was smiling, happy just like everybody else was and I didn't even say anything to him about it."
Holy Cross closed within four points for the second time after halftime at 46-42 when freshmen Eric Meister scored on a layup and Torey Thomas connected on a pair of free throws with 6:05 remaining.
But the Crusaders would get no closer as Tony Young's jumper with 4:10 to go as the Salukis (28-6) were able to push their advantage to 52-43.
In the opening half, Southern Illinois took control behind an impressive 12-2 surge for a 28-21 edge with 2:50 left. The Salukis ended up with a 30-25 cushion at the break.
The Salukis improved to 5-9 all-time in the NCAAs and tied the 2001-02 squad for the school record for wins.
Thomas scored 15 points and Meister chipped in a season-high 14 for Holy Cross (25-9), which shot 32 percent (14-of-43) and made just 1-of-11 attempts from 3-point range.
"This is a special program," Thomas said about his last collegiate game. "I'm going to wear Holy Cross on my chest proudly. I'm proud of my time here."
- WEST REGIONAL
AT COLUMBUS OH
NCAA BB WEST REGIONAL
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
HOLY CROSS 25 26 51
SOUTHN ILLINOIS 30 31 61 FINAL
Mar 17 12:06 AM
- WEST REGIONAL
AT COLUMBUS OH
NCAA BB (13) HOLY CROSS 25
(4) SOUTHN ILLINOIS 30 HALFTIME
Mar 16 10:45 PM
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