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Akoon-Purcell scores career-high 24 in Illinois State's 73-56 victory over Southern Illinois


NORMAL, Illinois — DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell hit four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24 points to lead Illinois State over Southern Illinois 73-56 on Wednesday night.

Daishon Knight added 11 points and MiKyle McIntosh 10 for the Redbirds (18-11, 10-7 Missouri Valley), who won their third in a row and are tied for third place in the MVC.

Anthony Beane scored 24 points for the Salukis (10-20, 3-14), who have lost five straight with their last victory coming at home over Illinois State, 65-59, on Feb. 7.

The Redbirds opened the second half with nine unanswered points, six from Akoon-Purcell, to snap a 36-all tie. A 3-pointer by Akoon-Purcell started an 8-0 run to boost the Redbirds to a 14-point lead, 55-41, with 12:12 left. The Salukis cut their deficit to eight on two baskets by Beane with 7 minutes remaining before Justin McCloud made a pair of 3-pointers in a 14-5 game-ending run.

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