Mullins' 13 points leads Southern Illinois past DrakeFeb 14, 2008 - 5:54 AM CARBONDALE, Illinois (Ticker) -- Bryan Mullins and Randal Falker halted Drake's drive for a title.
Mullins scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half as Southern Illinois posted a 65-62 Missouri Valley Conference victory over No. 15 Drake on Wednesday.
Falker also scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Joshua Bone had nine for the Salukis (12-12, 7-6 MVC), who have won 18 in a row at home and improved to 60-1 at SIU Arena vs. league opponents since the start of the 2001-02 season.
"We've come up on the short end of the stick with several games this season," Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said. "Our guys came up in the end and got it done. That's what it's about - protecting your home court, no matter who your opponent is."
Southern Illinois also stopped Drake from clinching at least a share of the conference title.
"That was just extra motivation for us," Southern Illinois forward Matt Shaw said. "We didn't want them to come to our gym and cut down our nets and clinch the championship."
The Bulldogs (22-2, 13-1), who owned four-game lead over second-place Illinois State with five league games remaining, entering this contest needed one win to clinch a share of its first MVC title since tying Louisville and Saint Louis for a league championship in 1970-71. Drake's last outright title came in 1969-70.
The Salukis held strong in the final minutes of this game to fight off the Bulldogs.
After Klayton Korver drilled a 3-pointer to cut Drake's deficit to 60-59 with 2:26 left, Mullins hit a jumper with 1:46 remaining to give Southern Illinois a three-point lead.
Just 11 seconds later, a shot from the arc by Josh Young knotted the game at 62-62 before a layup by Wesley Clemmons put the Salukis ahead, 64-62, with 80 seconds remaining.
"The (Bulldogs) made some bombs today," Lowery said. "We knew Korver and Young could make those long, NBA threes."
Leonard Houston missed 3-point attempt with 62 seconds left for the Bulldogs and Adam Emmenecker failed to convert a layup attempt with 12 ticks on the clock before Shaw split a pair of foul shots for the Salukis with two seconds to play to make it 65-62.
Drake had one more attempt at a tie, but Houston's 3-point attempt at the buzzer failed, sending the Bulldogs to their first loss in 22 games.
"Our guys got it done," Lowery said.
Shaw and Clemmons finished with eight and five points, respectively, for the Salukis, who shot 50 percent (24-of-48) and have won 12 straight here vs. Drake.
"They made some runs and hit some shots, but we always had an answer," Mullins said.
Young scored 17 points and Korver and Jonathan Cox each contributed 11 for the Bulldogs, who shot 43 percent (22-of-51) and have dropped 18 of their last 19 decisions to Southern Illinois.
"I think in this conference, if every game on the road goes down to the last minute, I think you'd be pretty happy with that as a coach," Drake coach Keno Davis said. "So I don't want (our team) to get too down, because we lost at a place that no one ever wins at."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
DRAKE (15) 36 26 62
SOUTHN ILLINOIS 39 26 65 FINAL
Feb 13 10:11 PM
- NCAA BB
(15) DRAKE 36
SOUTHN ILLINOIS 39 HALFTIME
Feb 13 8:46 PM
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