CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Ben Jacobsen had a chance to give
Northern Iowa a much-needed victory.
Instead, his 3-pointer from the corner fell short and the No. 25
Panthers lost their second consecutive game since reclaiming a spot
in the Top 25, falling 46-45 to Southern Illinois on Saturday.
Tony Young banked in a game-winning 8-foot jumper with 7 seconds
left to pull out the win for the Salukis.
Matt Shaw scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting for Southern
Illinois (19-10, 12-6 Missouri Valley), which held a 24-20 halftime
lead despite shooting 35 percent from the field in the first half.
Shaw also connected on two 3-pointers, more than the entire
Northern Iowa team managed. Jamaal Tatum scored 11 points in the
Grant Stout led the way for Northern Iowa, scoring 16 points on
6-of-8 shooting with a game-high eight rebounds.
Jacobsen added 14 points and five assists, but the Panthers
(22-8, 11-7) committed nine costly first-half turnovers and shot 11
percent from 3-point range.
"Turnovers were really the difference in the game," Northern
Iowa coach Greg McDermott said.
With the win, the Salukis secured either a second or third seed
in the upcoming conference tournament in St. Louis on March 2-5.
After four consecutive years as the top seed, Southern Illinois
relinquished that title to Wichita State this year.
"First place is already gone," Young said. "So right now it's
more of a confidence-booster to get us going and get us back
rolling as a team."
Northern Iowa lost ground in the Missouri Valley race. After
earning their first national ranking in January and appearing in
the Top 25 in three of the last four polls, the Panthers could end
up as the fifth or sixth seed in St. Louis.
NCAA title game hero Kris Jenkins said he will withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to Villanova for his senior season.
Andy Katz breaks down the likelihood of Villanova, Syracuse, North Carolina or Oklahoma making a run to the Final Four next season.
Florida State has announced that Xavier Rathan-Mayes will return to the court for his junior season. The 6-foot-4 guard declared for the NBA draft last month but did not hire an agent.