Pippen, Fletcher carry SIU past Valparaiso 65-59

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) – Kavion Pippen scored 21 points and Armon Fletcher’s go-ahead 3-pointer from the left baseline helped propel Southern Illinois to a 65-59 win over Valparaiso on Saturday night.

Fletcher’s lone 3 of the night broke a 59-all tie with 44 seconds left, Tyler Smithpeters added two foul shots and Fletcher made 1 of 2 to close out the game. Fletcher finished with 12 points. Tevonn Walker made a pair of free throws with 2:21 to go that gave the Crusaders a 59-56 lead but Valpo never scored again, missing its last five shots. Pippen, who shot 9 of 11 from the field, tied it with 2:10 to go with a 3-point play.

Valpo lead 31-25 at halftime before Southern Illinois (16-9, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference) outscored the Crusaders 16-10 in the first 7½ minutes after the break and tied it at 41.

Walker led the Crusaders (12-13, 3-9) with 16 points and Bakari Evelyn and Markus Golder each scored 13.

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