SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Chris Dieker threw a 51-yard touchdown pass as time expired to lead Southern Illinois to a 23-17 win over Missouri State on Saturday.
Dieker, who had 243 yards passing, was nearly sacked by three Missouri State defenders before he escaped and threw the pass to Marc Cheatham who ran untouched into the end zone for the winning score while his teammates streamed onto the field to celebrate as time expired.
Missouri State (3-4, 2-2 Missouri Valley) tied the game at 17 with 19.8 seconds left on a 26-yard pass from Cody Kirby to Brandon Oliver.
SIU (5-2, 4-1) had to overcome five turnovers, including four in the first half, as it struggled to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Missouri State took the lead in the third quarter when Cory Harbor blocked a Scott Ravanresi punt and Derek Miller ran the ball 40 yards for Missouri State with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
SIU regained the lead on two quick scores that included a 1-yard run by Dieker with 11:50 left in the game followed by a 29-yard touchdown pass on SIU's next possession from Dieker to Cheatham with 9:03 left to put SIU ahead 17-7.
Missouri State scored on a 20-yard field goal with 4:11 left before tying the game.
SIU had 498 yards of offense to 285 for Missouri State. Larry Warner rushed for a career-high 168 yards for SIU. Kirby finished with 253 yards passing.