Falker, tough defense lead Southern Illinois to winNov 23, 2007 - 2:02 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Randal Falker scored 21 points and Bryan Mullins added 10 as 18th-ranked Southern Illinois posted a 63-41 victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga in the first round of the Anaheim Classic on Thursday.
Falker grabbed seven rebounds and shot 5-of-10 from the floor and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line to help the Salukis improve to 5-0 all-time vs. the Mocs.
"Whenever Bryan is in, we let him do whatever he thinks he needs to do offensively," Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said. "When we go to somebody else (at point guard), we go to grinding and look to Randal more."
Southern Illinois' defense, which entered the game ranked third in the nation allowing just 56.1 points, held Chattanooga to just 28 percent (11-of-29) shooting from the floor en route to its second straight win.
"We had a very good gameplan that we were not able to execute because their pressure is amazing," Chattanooga coach John Shulman said. "We invited their double-teams, and if we could get it out, you can get anything you wanted. The problem is getting it out. Our point guards did a very poor job."
"Our style is to grind you," Mullins said. "It may not work the first 10 minutes, but in the second half, I think they really got tired of us constantly trapping them and really just took them out of their gameplan."
The Salukis (2-0) move on to play Mississippi State on Friday, while the Mocs play California-Irvine.
The Salukis, who were coming off a 20-point win over Northern Illinois in their opener on Saturday, picked up where they left off. Southern Illinois opened the game on a 8-0 run and forced 26 turnovers - 15 in the first half.
"That ain't no joke out there," Chattanooga coach John Shulman said. "Their 'D' is as sound and as good as anybody's in America."
Chattanooga held a brief 16-15 lead with 5:09 left in the first half, but Falker scored six points to lead a 12-3 burst as Southern Illinois took a 27-19 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Salukis broke open the game with a 20-9 run which stretched the lead to 49-28 with 12:27 left. Falker scored six during the run and Matt Shaw added a pair of 3-pointers.
Stephen McDowell scored 14 points for Chattanooga (1-2), which shot just 21 percent (5-of-23) from the arc.
- ANAHEIM CLASSIC
AT ANAHEIM CA
NCAA BB ANAHEIM CLASSIC
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
SOUTHN ILLINOIS (18) 27 36 63
CHATTANOOGA 19 22 41 FINAL
Nov 22 6:27 PM
- ANAHEIM CLASSIC
AT ANAHEIM CA
NCAA BB (18) SOUTHN ILLINOIS 27
CHATTANOOGA 19 HALFTIME
Nov 22 5:19 PM
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