The Saluki men’s basketball team beat the Wichita State Shockers 64-62 in the SIU Arena Tuesday night. After trailing by a point at half time, SIU led most of the second half and won on a goal-tended shot in the closing seconds.
The Salukis were aggressive and consistent in attacking the lane. SIU scored 15 points from the free throw line and drew 21 fouls from the Shocker’s defenders. Freshman Anthony Beane Jr. led the team with six free-throws made and notched four rebounds on the night.
Senior guard T.J. Lindsay said the team played the most cohesive game as this season.
“Tonight everybody played unselfish,” he said. “I think this may have been the most unselfish game we have played all year.”
Senior guard T.J. Lindsay was precise from long range. The senior hit four 3-pointers and was the Salukis’ leading scorer with 14 points at half time. Lindsay hit a 3-point jumper to give the Salukis a spark with 5:50 remaining in the first half that rallied the SIU offense.
“Coach looked at me from the other end of the bench and said ‘we need a spark,'”Lindsay said.
SIU took its first lead of the game on the opening possession of the first half. Beane Jr. hit a 2-point jumper to give the Salukis a 37-36 advantage.
The lead—and the raucous crowd— gave SIU an emotional boost to reel off a 9-0 run which included an alley oop from senior guard Kendall Brown-Surles to junior guard Desmar Jackson on an inbounds play.
With less than 2 minutes remaining in the game coach Barry Hinson subbed in freshman guard Jalen Pendleton. The next play, the freshman stole the ball, got fouled and made two critical foul shots.
Pendleton said coach Barry Hinson told him to relax at times during the game.
“Coach said don’t worry so much,” he said. “Usually coach doesn’t like when I spin but I saw that they were playing me to my right hand.”
Pendleton spun into the lane with the Salukis down 2 and tied the game on a lay up with 48 seconds left in the game
“We told him that all he had to do was earn the coach’s trust,” Early said. “I think he got that tonight.”
As if tying the game wasn’t enough, the first year Saluki dribbled the ball up the court on the last possession of the game for SIU and scored the go-ahead bucket on a WSU goal-tend.
Hinson said the win meant much to him, but seeing the faces of the excited fans made the victory so special.
“The best feeling is walking past the stands and seeing the expressions of the great fans,” he said. “The best part of the win is seeing the look on the players face’s after a much needed win.”