The Salukis came out of the gate firing and won a tight battle against the winner of last year’s Missouri Valley Tournament Friday.
SIU (6-11, 3-3 MVC) defeated Indiana State (11-7, 2-5 MVC) Friday 73-67 at the SIU Arena. The Salukis opened the game up on a 10-3 run.
“It’s good to start good. We got the young guys going and into a rhythm,” senior forward Mamadou Seck said.
The Salukis opened the lead up to 13 points on a three pointer from junior guard T.J. Lindsay, who finished the night with 13 points on 4-7 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc.
Junior guard Jeff Early earned his sixth start of the season and provided a spark on defense with three blocks to go along with eight points.
“I’m a hustle player, so it was all about timing blocks, jumping up and seeing if I get lucky,” Early said. “Lucky enough that I was able to time all three of them.”
Early started in place of freshman forward Treg Setty, who got the starting nod the past three games. Setty came off the bench and scored 11 points on 5-9 shooting.
Indiana State made a run in the second half to tie the game at 57 with 7 minutes and 5 seconds left in the game. The two teams traded blows until the Salukis pulled away at the end, thanks to an airballed three from Setty that Early snagged and laid in at the 46-second mark in the second half to make the score 68-63 with the shot clock expiring.
“I hope I get the assist for that. I’m going to have to talk to some people after the game to see what they’re thinking, but I mean, it didn’t hit the rim,” Setty said.
SIU turned their attention to No. 21 Creighton (16-2, 6-1 MVC) Sunday and fell 90-71 at the Century Link Center in Omaha, Neb. Creighton forward Doug McDermott had a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bluejays jumped out to a 15-point lead by the 4:33 mark in the first half and went into halftime leading 48-36. SIU shot 36.1 percent from the field compared to Creighton’s 52.2 percent.
SIU made a run in the second half to make the score 59-55 with 12 minutes and 38 seconds left in the game, but Creighton caught fire and padded the lead out to 20 points with 2 minutes 3 seconds left.
Seck had 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss while Lindsay had a team-high 13 points on 6-11 shooting.
SIU will take on Drake (11-7, 4-3 MVC) 7:05 p.m Wednesday at in the SIU Arena.