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No. 11 So. Illinois meets Bradley in Missouri Valley semis

Mar 3, 2007 - 3:23 PM Bradley (21-11) at No. 11 Southn Illinois (26-5) 2:35 pm EST

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- At its current pace, Southern Illinois can tie a school record for victories just in time for the NCAA Tournament.

The 11th-ranked Salukis can win their 13th consecutive game and advance to the final of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament when they face Bradley on Saturday.

Southern Illinois is just two wins shy of matching the single-season school mark (28) set in 1989-1990. The Salukis are one of just 15 teams who have played in the last five NCAA Tournaments.

After posting a 15-3 record in conference play, Southern Illinois opened the conference tournament with Friday's 71-59 victory over Drake.

Matt Shaw and Jamal Tatum scored 19 points apiece and Tony Young added 17 for the Salukis, who forced 22 turnovers and limited Drake for 40 percent (18-of-45) shooting from the floor.

Bradley reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1987-1988 and went 10-8 against Missouri Valley foes to finish fourth in the standings.

The Braves avenged their loss to Northern Iowa in February with a 51-48 triumph in Friday's quarterfinals. J.J. Tauai scored 16 points and Will Franklin had 12.