ST. LOUIS -- Dwayne Evans scored 14 points and Rob Low added 12 as Saint Louis defeated Southern Illinois 61-51 on Saturday night.
Cody Ellis and Mike McCall Jr. had nine points each for the Billikens (3-2), who shot 51.2 percent (22 of 43) from the floor.
Saint Louis built a 27-18 lead at the break as Southern Illinois shot just 24.2 percent (8 of 33) in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Kendal Brown-Surles got the Salukis within 333-28 early in the second half, but Evan scored back-to-back layups for the Billkens to return the cushion above double digits, where it remained the rest of the way.
Loe went 3 for 3 from 3-point range.
Southern Illinois played without forward Antonio Breyer, who was one of three players ejected for committing a flagrant foul during a skirmish against SIU Edwardsville on Tuesday. The Missouri Valley Conference reviewed the incident and cleared Breyer to play, but after sister school SIUE suspended its two ejected players for one game, Southern Illinois followed suit.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge will again feature Kansas and Kentucky, this time at Rupp Arena. That's not the only exciting matchup in next season's midseason conference showdown.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats' upward trajectory suggests 2016-17 could finally be the season it happens.
Dillon Brooks, who led Oregon with 16.7 points per game last season, and Tyler Dorsey will opt out of the NBA draft process and return to the Ducks, sources told ESPN.