CARBONDALE, Illinois (Ticker) -- Darren Brooks helped Southern Illinois move a step closer to making history.
Brooks scored 14 points as the 17th-ranked Salukis extended their winning streak to 15 games with a 68-60 victory over Creighton in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup.
Sparked by Brooks, the Salukis (23-2, 16-0 MVC) moved within two wins of becoming the first team to run through the league unbeaten since the 1985-86 Bradley squad led by Hersey Hawkins. They have won 26 straight conference games dating to last season.
The Salukis' latest win was a team effort as they got points from 10 different players in the first half en route to a 40-25 lead.
Nate Funk netted 15 points to lead Creighton (19-6, 11-5), which has lost three of its last four games, severely damaging its hopes of gaining an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Salukis led by as many as 17 points early in the second half but the Blue Jays used a 19-6 run to pull within 48-44 with 13:13 remaining on Funk's 3-pointer.
After the Blue Jays clawed within 61-58, Brooks made a jumper with 1:35 to go, then sank a free throw 28 seconds later to all but seal things.
"Darren steps up and makes big plays, whether it's making a shot or making a defensive stop," Southern Illinois coach Matt Painter said. "At the end he just steps up, pulls up and makes an 18-footer when we desperately needed it."
Lamar Owen added 12 points and Brad Korn and Stetson Hairston 10 apiece for the Salukis, who used a 13-2 run in the first half to build a double-digit lead.
Brody Deren contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds for Creighton, which committed 20 turnovers in losing for the 21st straight time on the road against a ranked opponent.
"They are the quickest team I've seen in the (league) in the 10 years I've been here and they use that quickness very well," Creighton coach Dana Altman said.