CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Desmar Jackson scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, helping Southern Illinois to a 63-57 Senior Night victory over Northern Iowa on Wednesday.
Jeff Early, who along with Kendal Brown-Surles and T.J. Lindsay was playing his final home game for the Salukis (13-16, 5-12 Missouri Valley), added 14 points and eight rebounds. The three seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony.
Marc Sonnen scored 18 points for the Panthers (17-13, 10-7), and Jake Koch had 12. Northern Iowa outrebounded Southern Illinois 38-30 but committed 16 turnovers, which the Salukis turned into 17 points.
SIU never trailed but saw UNI pull within 48-43 on Marvin Singleton's 3-pointer with 4:43 left. The Salukis then made nine free throws in the final 2:50 to secure the victory.
Northern Iowa likely will be the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, while Southern Illinois is locked in at No. 10.
Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, who missed most of last season with a back injury, says he is returning for another year.
Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to the Badgers for his senior season.
Recruiting reporter Jeff Borzello has gotten grilled for his selections of underachieving and overachieving college basketball programs. He joins Phil Murphy to explain his rankings.