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St. Louis U. v  Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

With some schools administering final examinations, last week was quieter on the college basketball front. SIU Carbondale made the most progress, dumping Jackson State 69-51 before scoring a nice 71-61 victory over Lamar -- which won eight of its first nine games this season, including victories over Tulsa and UTEP.

Lamar, which carried a 60 Ratings Percentage Index into the game. succumbed to the persistent Salukis ball pressure

"I hope our fans appreciate what’s going on right now because this is the best defensive club since I’ve been here," SIU Carbondale coach Barry Hinson (above) told reporters. "Our numbers prove it. (Lamar) scored 81 points per game, I don’t care who you’re playing, but we held them to 22 in the first half.”

SLU also took a step forward last week while Illinois remained stalled. Here is how teams stack up this week: