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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Sean Lloyd Jr. got to the basket for a layup with 14.6 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, then hit a clutch 3-pointer in the extra session to help Southern Illinois pull out a 76-72 win over Indiana State in a key Missouri Valley Conference battle Saturday afternoon.
The victory sets up a showdown with conference leading Loyola-Chicago Wednesday in Carbondale, but the Ramblers could clinch their first-ever MVC title with a win Sunday at Evansville. Indiana State can improve its seeding into the conference tournament in its final two games of the regular season: at home against Evansville and at Bradley.
The Salukis built a 10-point lead in the first half, leading 42-32 at intermission, but Indiana State charged to start the second half and the Sycamores led by five, 64-59 with 2:36 left in regulation after Brenton Scott hit the first of two free throws.
Lloyd came up with a steal with 1:45 left and Tyler Smithpeters cashed in with two free throws to get the Salukis within three. After Jordan Barnes hit the second of two free throws for Indiana State, Smithpeters found Jonathan Wiley for an open look and the jumper cut the lead to two, 65-63 with just under a minute to play in regulation and Lloyd's layup tied it.
Qiydar Davis hit two free throws to give the Sycamores the lead to start overtime, 67-65, but Aaron Cook tied it with a free throw and Armon Fletcher added two more to put the Salukis in front for good. Lloyd extended it with his 3 with 3:02 left and Cook added a layup with 2:11 to go that made it 74-69.
Cook finished with 18 points for Southern Illinois (19-10, 11-5). Fletcher contributed 14 and Lloyd added 13.
Davis finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana State (11-17, 6-10). Scott added 13 points.
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