Salukis down Virginia Tech to move into Sweet 16
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – Jamaal Tatum poured in 21 points to lead
Southern Illinois past Virginia Tech, 63-48, in the second round of the NCAA
Tony Young had 17 for the Missouri Valley Conference champion Salukis (29-6),
which set a school record for wins in a season and advance to play either
eighth-seeded Kentucky or top-seeded Kansas in the Sweet 16.
Bryan Mullins chipped in 11 points and Randal Falker scored 10 and pulled down
12 rebounds for SIU, which was coming off a 61-51 victory over Holy Cross in
the first round.
The Salukis finished 44 percent shooting from the field and a sizzling 57
percent (12-of-21) from beyond the arc.
Jamon Gordon posted 16 points and grabbed eight boards for the fifth-seeded
Hokies (22-12), who edged Illinois by a 54-52 margin after making their first
NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years. Deron Washington donated 15 points in
SIU got out to an early five-point lead before Virginia Tech tied it at 13 on
Washington’s three-pointer halfway through. Then, with 5:53 left in the first
half, Gordon drilled a trey to give the Hokies an 18-15 edge.
The Salukis, though, ended the frame with a 13-2 spurt — led by three
consecutive triples by Tatum — for a 28-20 advantage at the break.
Falker’s layup 2:44 into the second half opened up a 10-point cushion for
Southern Illinois, which then used a 6-0 spurt — sparked by Young’s trey —
to go up 47-32 at the 8:22 mark.
Virginia Tech failed to mount any offensive threat front that point forward
and the Salukis cruised to victory.
The Hokies shot 41 percent from the floor.
Both teams met for the first time earlier in the season, with SIU winning
69-64…Both schools pulled down 24 rebounds.