OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Kyle Korver needed less than a minute to turn his game around.
A preseason All-America candidate, Korver hit three 3-pointers in a 56-second span of the second half as 14th-ranked Creighton rallied for an 85-76 victory over Southern Illinois in the showdown for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The 6-7 Korver was held to seven points in the first half when Southern Illinois built a 13-point lead, but was the dominant player in the second half with 17 points, including four 3-pointers. His three straight 3-pointers turned a 47-44 deficit into a 53-50 lead with 13:47 remaining. Korver's fifth 3-pointer gave the Bluejays the lead for good at 65-62 with 8:07 left.
"I think I forced a couple," Korver said. "Usually, you hit a couple and want to shoot a couple more. You want to keep shooting when you're feeling it. With a crowd like today, they were just waiting for something."
Creighton (15-1, 6-0 MVC) improved to 6-0 in conference games for the first time since starting with 10 wins in league play in the 1942-43 season.
"I thought the second half, we did a better job guarding," Bluejays coach Dana Altman said. "I thought defensively we were better. Then we ran some stuff for Kyle and he hit some baskets."
Jermaine Dearman led Southern Illinois (10-4, 5-1) with 18 points.
It was the first meeting between the teams since Creighton beat the Salukis, 84-76, in the MVC title game last March. However, Southern Illinois won both regular season meetings last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament while Creighton was eliminated in the second round.
"Every game last year was just like this one," Salukis coach Bruce Weber marveled. "The team that was leading in the first half lost the game. They stepped up and Korver made big plays."
This game attracted 10,474, the largest crowd in Civic Auditorium history since March 1974, and included former Nebraska football coach and congressman Tom Osborne.
"In nine years, that's by far our most energetic crowd," Altman said. "They really picked us up."
Along with watching the Bluejays win, the crowd watched Korver break the conference record for career 3-pointers with 317. Southern Illinois' Shane Hawkins had set the record with 314 3-pointers from 1995-99.
After Korver's fifth 3-pointer of the game, Larry House scored on a follow shot and a 12-footer in the lane to increase Creighton's lead to 69-62.
"Each year, he's (Korver) gotten better and better," Weber said. "Four years ago as a freshman, he was just another guy on the scouting report and hit a couple threes. Now he handles the ball, he passes, he dribbles, he does everything for them."
Southern Illinois pulled within 71-66 on a basket by Dearman, but Joe Dabbert scored inside and House dunked off an alley-oop pass by DeAnthony Bowden with 4:28 remaining, giving Creighton a nine-point advantage.
But Southern Illinois again fought back as Kent Williams connected on a 3-pointer to help the Salukis close within, 77-71 with 1:48 left.
Korver, Tyler McKinney and Dabbert each hit two free throws in the final 1:30 to seal the win.
House had 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Michael Lindeman added 12 for the Bluejays.
Sophomore guard Darren Brooks scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half when Southern Illinois led by as many as 13 but settled for a 45-37 advantage at the break.
"We took care of the ball a lot better in the first half," Dearman said. "In the second half, the press got to us and we were getting fatigued and not making as hard a cut as we did in the first half."
Brad Korn and Bryan Turner each hit 3-pointers to spark a 14-0 run which opened a 37-25 lead for the Salukis. After House banked in a short jumper, Blake Schoen converted a three-point play to increase the lead to 40-27 with 4:16 left in the half.
Williams, Southern Illinois' leading scorer, was held to 12 points. Sophomore center Josh Warren also scored 12 off the bench for the Salukis.
The conference rivals will meet again at Southern Illinois on March 1.