CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Jeff Early stole the ball and sank a free throw with 2 seconds left, sending Southern Illinois to a 53-52 victory over Evansville on Saturday.
Colt Ryan scored 12 points and Kenny Harris 10 for the Purple Aces (11-12, 6-7).
Evansville never led but turned a 52-46 deficit into a tie after Harris hit a layup, Ryan sank two free throws and Harris made two foul shots with 2:24 to go.
Southern Illinois then missed three shots and a free throw but was rescued when Early forced a turnover and made the winning foul shot.
The Salukis' largest lead was 31-18 late in the first half.
Southern Illinois snapped a two-game losing streak and earned a season split with Evansville.