Falker, Bone lead Southern Illinois past Mississippi StateNov 24, 2007 - 1:41 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The inside-outside tandem of Randal Falker and Joshua Bone proved to be the difference Friday for Southern Illinois.
Falker scored 23 points and grabbed five rebounds as the 18th-ranked Salukis posted a 63-49 victory over Mississippi State in the semifinals of the Anaheim Classic.
Bone scored all of his 15 points on 3-pointers and Matt Shaw scored 11 points for the Salukis (3-0), who play the winner of Miami of Ohio-Southern California in the championship game on Sunday.
"We were going to Randal pretty much every possession and they went to zone and Josh pretty much broke it," said Southern Illinois guard Bryan Mullins, who had eight assists.
Southern Illinois, which held Chattanooga to just 41 points in this tournament's opening-round game on Thursday, stifled Mississippi State in the second half, holding the Bulldogs to only 21 points.
"They're about as tough physically as any team I've been associated with in 10 years at Mississippi State," Mississippi State coach Stansbury said. "They probably outweighed us 25 pounds per person."
Early in the second half, after Jamont Gordon's fourth 3-pointer pulled the Bulldogs to within 47-42, Bone hit back-to-back 3-pointers that stretched Southern Illinois' lead to 11 points. The Salukis maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
"You can't fight back against that kind of team over and over and over," Stansbury said. "You can't relax, because they keep coming."
Falker, who had just six points at the half, finished 7-of-9 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line for his second straight contest of at least 20 points.
"In the first half, they did a great job double-teaming me," Falker said. "I had to take my time and work on little things and get to the line and try to score."
The 6-7, 230-pound senior had 21 points against Chattanooga.
Bone was perfect on all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half and was 5-of-6 overall from the arc for the Salukis, who caused 22 turnovers against the Bulldogs after causing 26 vs. Chattanooga the day before.
Jamont Gordon scored 20 points for Mississippi State (3-2), which has not defeated a ranked non-conference team since December 28, 2002, when it defeated then-No. 5 Oklahoma, 54-45.
- ANAHEIM CLASSIC
AT ANAHEIM CA
NCAA BB ANAHEIM CLASSIC
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
MISSISSIPPI ST 28 21 49
SOUTHN ILLINOIS (18) 32 31 63 FINAL
Nov 23 4:52 PM
- ANAHEIM CLASSIC
AT ANAHEIM CA
NCAA BB MISSISSIPPI ST 29
(18) SOUTHN ILLINOIS 32 HALFTIME
Nov 23 3:49 PM
- Mississippi St G Newman opts for NBA draft, won't hire agent Mar 22
- Weatherspoon leading Mississippi State's resurgence Feb 23
- Mississippi State still trying to turn corner under Howland Jan 15
- Mississippi State suspends F Demetrius Houston indefinitely Nov 17
- Mississippi St Preview Capsule Oct 29
- Mississippi State pins turnaround hopes on Newman, Howland Oct 29
- Howland named Mississippi State basketball coach Mar 23
- Mississippi State fires Ray after 3 seasons Mar 21
- Wichita State tops SIU in MVC QFs Mar 6
- Salukis seek upset of Shockers in MVC Tournament Mar 6
- UK routs Mississippi State to stay unbeaten Feb 25
- Top-ranked Wildcats continue run against Bulldogs Feb 25