Justin Bocot scored 13 points, including a key 3-pointer with 5:49 left that gave Southern Illinois the lead for good, as the eighth-seeded Salukis advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating No. 9 seed Illinois State 57-54 Thursday night in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
Kendal Brown-Surles and Mamadou Seck each added 10 points for the Salukis, who won their first game in the tournament since 2007. Southern Illinois (13-18) will play top-seeded Missouri State (23-7) Friday.
Illinois State (12-19) was led by Austin Hill's 13 points. Tony Lewis had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Bocot's 3-pointer broke a 46-46 tie. Illinois State appeared to tie it at 55 on a long jumper by Hill with 12 seconds left. But after review, the shot was ruled a two-pointer, and Southern Illinois went up by three on John Freeman's slam dunk 6 seconds later.