Rodriguez has 20, Southern Illinois drops Evansville 73-61 (Jan 14, 2017)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) Mike Rodriguez nailed 3 of 5 from long distance to total 20 points and lead Southern Illinois to a 73-61 win over Evansville on Saturday.

The teams traded punches until the Salukis broke away in the second part of the final period.

Southern Illinois’ Thik Bol, who finished with 12 points, opened the game with a dunk and the Salukis took a 33-31 lead into the half. They opened the second period on an 8-3 run to go up 41-34 at the 17:56 mark. The Aces answered with a 9-2 run to tie and took a 47-45 lead after Dru Smith drilled a 3 midway in the second half. The Salukis responded with a 22-8 run and coasted to the win.

Sean Lloyd added 14 points for Southern Illinois (11-8, 4-2 Missouri Valley Conference), which has won five of its last seven.

Ryan Taylor and Jaylon Brown had 19 apiece for Evansville (10-9, 1-5).