CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) -- Deji Karim rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Williams returned an interception for a TD as Southern Illinois held off Northern Iowa 27-20 Saturday.
Williams' 21-yard return came with 2:48 remaining in the game and put the Salukis (5-1, 4-0 Missouri Valley) ahead 27-13.
Pat Grace, who threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns, pulled the Panthers (5-2, 3-1) to within 27-20 with 1:50 left when he connected with D.J. Hord on a 3-yard pass, but Southern Illinois then ran out the clock.
The Salukis, who ended an 11-game losing streak in Cedar Falls, took their first second-half lead with 5:06 remaining on Karim's 1-yard run which broke a 13-13 tie. Steven Morse set up the touchdown, which came on a fourth-down play, when he recovered a fumbled punt at the Northern Iowa 7-yard line.
Derrick Law ran for 123 yards for Northern Iowa.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)