Mitchell, Saint Louis top Southern Illinois -

Mitchell, Saint Louis top Southern Illinois

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kwamain Mitchell scored 22 points, including two 3-pointers during a key second-half run, to lead Saint Louis to a 71-61 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday night.

Willie Reed added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Christian Salecich scored 10 points for Saint Louis (5-3), which ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 5-0 at home.

Kevin Dillard had 23 points to lead Southern Illinois (3-2), which uncharacteristically struggled from 3-point distance. The Salukis, who came in shooting 40.4 percent from long range, went 4-for-23 from beyond the 3-point line, including 0-for-11 in the second half.

Saint Louis, which trailed 31-30 at the intermission, used a flurry of 3-pointers at the start of the second half to take the lead for good. The Billikens connected on four 3s during a 12-2 run, including two from Mitchell.

His first 3-pointer gave Saint Louis a 36-31 lead. He then made it 42-33 with another 3, forcing a timeout from Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery.

The Salukis quickly cut the lead to five points behind baskets from John Freeman and Carlton Fay, but the Billikens went back ahead 46-37 after Salecich's field goal with 13:41 left.

Southern Illinois pulled within six points with 10 minutes left before Saint Louis put the game away. Mitchell had two baskets and Willie Reid added three free throws during an 8-2 spurt that put the Billikens ahead 60-48 with 5:17 remaining.

Saint Louis, behind a 3-pointer from Justin Jordan and baskets from Mitchell and Reid, used an 8-0 run to go ahead 12-4 eight minutes into the game. The lead was the largest of the first half for the Billikens.

Southern Illinois, which missed nine of its first 10 shots, rallied behind the long-range shooting of Dillard. His first 3-pointer pulled the Salukis within one point, and another 3-pointer gave them their first lead at 23-22 with four minutes left in the first half.

Saint Louis tied the game 28-28 on a basket from Mitchell before Dillard connected on another 3-pointer just before halftime.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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