Early, Southern Illinois edge Evansville 53-52

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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Jeff Early stole the ball and sank a free throw with 2 seconds left, sending Southern Illinois to a 53-52 victory over Evansville on Saturday.

Early led the Salukis (8-16, 5-8 Missouri Valley) with 14 points. Dantiel Daniels scored 11 points and blocked five shots, while Mamadou Seck had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Colt Ryan scored 12 points and Kenny Harris 10 for the Purple Aces (11-12, 6-7).

Evansville never led but turned a 52-46 deficit into a tie after Harris hit a layup, Ryan sank two free throws and Harris made two foul shots with 2:24 to go.

Southern Illinois then missed three shots and a free throw but was rescued when Early forced a turnover and made the winning foul shot.

The Salukis' largest lead was 31-18 late in the first half.

Southern Illinois snapped a two-game losing streak and earned a season split with Evansville.