Recap: Drake vs. Southern Ill
Des Moines, IA (Sports Network) - In a Missouri Valley Conference showdown at the Knapp Center, the Southern Illinois Salukis defeated the Drake Bulldogs, 66-63, to close out regular season play.
Jeff Early supplied 26 points for the Salukis (14-16, 6-12 MVC) while shooting 11-of-19 from the field. Desmar Jackson added 15 points while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers as SIU won its third in a row and fifth in the last six games.
Drake (14-16, 7-11) was led by Ben Simons who tallied 15 points while making good on four 3-pointers. Jordan Clarke added 12 points as the Bulldogs saw a three-game win streak come to a disappointing close.
The Bulldogs shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the first half and led 32-30 at the intermission.
Shooting 53.8 percent from the field, the Salukis outscored Drake 31-26 in the second half. SIU took the lead for good on a Jackson 3-pointer with 6:09 left in the game. Early hit a jumper and made two clutch free-throws all in the final 20 seconds of the came to seal the deal for SIU.
The opportunistic Salukis flipped 16 Drake turnovers into 18 points while the Bulldogs were only able to earn five points off 10 SIU turnovers.
Both teams will next go onto play in the first round of the MVC Tournament on March 7 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.Game Notes