Carbondale, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Seth Tuttle and Paul Jesperson each scored 13 points in the 18th-ranked Northern Iowa Panthers' 59-52 win over the Southern Illinois Salukis on Wednesday.
Tuttle also had 10 rebounds and three steals for the Panthers (19-2, 8-1 MVC), who have won eight in a row. Nate Buss tallied 11 points.
Northern Iowa shot 52.6 percent from the field, while holding Southern Illinois to 39.2 percent.
Ibby Djimde ended with 10 points off the bench for the Salukis (9-13, 2-7), who have lost two straight. Deion Lavender and Jalen Pendleton had eight points apiece.
Trailing 13-5, Southern Illinois went on a 13-1 run. Lavender tallied eight points during the surge to make it 18-14 with 6:50 left in the first half.
The Salukis led 26-23 at the break and held a 32-30 margin early in the second half.
But the Panthers responded with a 26-6 run to take control. Jesperson tallied seven points during the burst and Tuttle ended it on a layup to make it 56-38 with 5:33 to play.
Southern Illinois ended the game on a 14-3 spurt, but the comeback ran out of time.
The Panthers also beat the Salukis on Jan. 7. However, Southern Illinois leads the all-time series by a 31-26 margin ... Northern Iowa returns home Saturday to take on 12th-ranked Wichita State.