Ferguson’s career day leads Winthrop over Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Josh Ferguson set career highs with 26 points and five 3-pointers, and Winthrop made 15 3-pointers to beat Southern Illinois 79-71 on Saturday.

Ferguson grabbed 10 rebounds for his eighth career double-double and Nych Smith added 19 points for the Eagles (7-4).

Austin Awad hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Winthrop the lead for good at 25-23 and Ferguson added another trey to make it a 9-0 run. Three minutes later, Ferguson made the first two of four straight Eagles 3-pointers and Winthrop led 45-29 after the 12-0 run.

Southern Illinois (7-6) broke the deficit into single digits with a 6-0 run to get within 62-53 in the middle of the second half. Ferguson and Kyle Zunic answered with back-to-back 3s to push the lead to 15 and the Eagles held off the Salukis until another rally brought Southern Illinois to within 75-68 in the final minute.

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Sean Lloyd had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Eric McGill scored 18 for Southern Illinois.

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