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Early's career-high 27 helps Southern Illinois start Hinson era with 72-55 win vs. New Orleans

Jeff Early obliterated his previous career best with 27 points as the Salukis took a 72-55 victory from New Orleans Monday night in a nonconference affair.

Early, whose previous high was 18 points, made 11 of 16 shots and pulled down 12 rebounds — also a career high.

Desmar Jackson joined Early in double figures with 17 points.

The win was the first for new Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson.

The Salukis (1-0) opened on an 11-0 scoring run, and led 26-6 nine minutes in.

Southern Illinois won despite making 1 of 8 3-point tries. The Salukis shot 50.9 percent (28 of 55) from the field, and dominated on the glass with a 36-18 rebounding advantage.

Cory Dixon paced New Orleans (1-1) with 15 points. The Privateers shot 35.4 percent (17 of 48), including just 8.3 percent (1 of 12) from beyond the arc.