Cleanthony Early scored 39 points to help No. 23 Wichita State beat Southern Illinois 82-76 on Wednesday night, two days after the Shockers jumped back into the poll.
Early's 39 points were the most for a Wichita State player since Xavier McDaniel had 44 in 1985.
Wichita State (15-1, 4-0 Missouri Valley) needed everything Early could do as Southern Illinois rode a hot-shooting first half to keep it close into the final minute.
Desmar Jackson scored 28 points and Anthony Beane added 14 for the Salukis (7-8, 0-4).
Ehime Orupke had 10 points and nine rebounds for Wichita State, which has won 16 straight games at home.
The Salukis have lost nine straight Missouri Valley games, dating back to last season, but had a nine-point lead starting the second half.