Paris Lee scored 18 points as Missouri Valley Conference leader Illinois State notched its 12th-straight win, beating Northern Iowa 57-51 on Wednesday night.
Lee was 6 of 15 from the floor for the Redbirds (19-4, 11-0 MVC). Phil Fayne added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Deontae Hawkins had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Lee made two 3-pointers, a layup, and a pair of free throws late in the first half to give the Redbirds a 21-12 lead with 3:19 to play in the period. They had a 23-19 edge at intermission.
Fayne contributed six points to an 8-0 surge midway through the second that put Illinois State up 38-28 with 7:42 left. Northern Iowa closed it to 55-51 with 14 seconds to go but Lee drained two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to finish the scoring.
Jeremy Morgan led the Panthers (10-12, 5-6) with 12 points.
>>Southern Illinois Beats Bradley
Mike Rodriguez scored 15 points and lead all five Southern Illinois starters in double-figure and the Salukis handed Bradley a 20-point Missouri Valley Conference loss 85-65 on Wednesday night.
The Salukis led by 10 points with less than two minutes left in the first half but Bradley rallied to trail by six, 36-30, at intermission.
Thik Bol hit a jumper and dunked and Sean Lloyd got to the basket for a layup and Southern Illinois needed just 90 seconds to push its advantage to a dozen points, 42-30.
Rodriguez hit 4 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 from distance, and dished out six assists to lead the Salukis (13-11, 6-5). Bol had 14 points and six boards.
Darrell Brown and JoJo McGlaston each scored 14 points to lead Bradley (8-16, 3-8) and Jayden Hodgson added another 11 points.