OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Bryan Mullins layup with 4.1 seconds left gave Southern Illinois a 58-57 win over Creighton in front of a record crowd Saturday at the Qwest Center.
The Salukis (15-5), who have won seven straight in the series, overcame a second-half surge by the Bluejays to pull into a tie with Creighton for second place in the Missouri Valley Conference at 6-3.Southern Illinois set the tone for the first half with its defense. The Salukis, ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense coming in, held Creighton without a field goal for the first 5:43 and scoreless for a six-minute stretch a short time later.The Bluejays (12-7) opened the game 0-for-8 from the field, missed 13 of their first 16 shots and didnt hit double figures until Nate Funk sank a pair of free throws with 5:09 left in the half.Southern Illinois had a 12-point lead at one point and was up 28-23 at the half after hitting 50 percent (10 of 20) of its field-goal attempts, including 6 of 8 from three-point range. But Creighton rallied in the second half, using a 14-3 run to go from down by seven to up 50-43.Randal Falker scored 15 of his 21 points after halftime as the Salukis battled back to tie the game at 55-55 with 1:06 to play. Jamaal Tatum gave Southern Illinois a one-point lead on a free throw with 49 seconds left.Creighton moved back in front with 18 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Nick Porter.The Bluejays hit 26 of their 30 foul shots, including 26 of their last 27. Nate Funk had 18 points for Creighton, but had a 25-foot bank shot go in and out at the buzzer.Attendance at the game was 17,459.