CARBONDALE — SIU center Kavion Pippen was named the Missouri Valley Conference's newcomer of the week for the second time Monday.
Pippen, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound junior from Three Rivers (Missouri) Community College, made 9 of 10 from the field and scored a season-high 22 points Saturday against San Jose State. Pippen added an assist, three blocks and a season-high four steals in 34 minutes for the Salukis (4-2).
Pippen averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game in wins over SIU-Edwardsville and the Spartans. At 13.8 points per game, he is the eighth-leading scorer in the MVC.
Northern Iowa forward Bennett Koch was the league's player of the week. The 6-10, 239-pound senior scored a career-high 30 points and led UNI to a 77-68 overtime victory over UNLV. Koch made 10 of 19 field goals and was
10 of 13 from the free-throw line against the previously undefeated Runnin’ Rebels. Koch grabbed seven rebounds and posted three steals for the Panthers (6-2).
SIU is next at Saint Louis (3-4) Wednesday night at 7. The Salukis defeated the Billikens, 70-55, in Carbondale last season.
* Bartley cleared: SIU coach Barry Hinson said point guard Marcus Bartley was cleared to practice with contact Monday on his weekly radio program.
Bartley hasn't played all season after breaking a bone in his right wrist in October. The 6-5 junior started working out with the team last week on a limited basis and could play his first game for the Salukis against his former team, Saint Louis.
Bartley sat out last season per NCAA regulations after transferring from the Billikens.
Hinson said forward Thik Bol, a preseason all-conference second team pick, did not respond well last week to putting some stress on his repaired knee and is out this week.
Bol blocked 76 shots last season, the most in the Valley, and shot 53.3 percent from the field, the fifth-best mark in the league.
* Nevada enters AP top 25: Nevada (8-0) entered The Associated Press top 25 poll Monday at No. 22 and the USA Today coaches poll at No. 24.
The Wolf Pack play SIU Dec. 22 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
The Salukis play Nevada Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. and Duquesne (2-3) Dec. 23 at 7:30. Both games are scheduled to air on FS1.