Salukis lose battle against Braves

The SIU men’s basketball team saw difficulty with the 3-point shot Tuesday against Bradley and lost 69-66 after two failed game-tying attempts.

Junior guard Desmar Jackson led the team in scoring for the seventh time this season with 21 points.  The junior went 9-15 from the field and added six rebounds as well as two assists.  Although Jackson was hot-handed and shot the ball well for most of the game, he couldn’t find the bottom of the net when shooting from 3-point range.

Senior guard Jeff Early drives past two Bradley University players Jan. 2 at SIU Arena. The Salukis played the Braves for the second time this season Tuesday at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. Early, with 17 points and 11 rebounds recorded his sixth double-double of the year. Despite Early’s success, the Salukis have a 1-5 Missouri Valley Conference record after a 69-66 loss to the Braves.CHRIS ZOELLER | DAILY EGYPTIAN

Senior guard Jeff Early drives past two Bradley University players Jan. 2 at SIU Arena. The Salukis played the Braves for the second time this season Tuesday at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. Early, with 17 points and 11 rebounds recorded his sixth double-double of the year. Despite Early’s success, the Salukis have a 1-5 Missouri Valley Conference record after a 69-66 loss to the Braves.
CHRIS ZOELLER | DAILY EGYPTIAN

He made only one of his four 3-point attempts, and the Salukis as a team made just two of 12 3-pointers.

Senior guard Jeff Early, the team’s lead rebounder, nabbed 11 total rebounds, and six came from the offensive glass. Early played an efficient game as he went 8-9 from the field for 17 points. The senior hybrid guard didn’t miss a shot through the first 13 minutes of play.

Despite shooting a season- high 55 percent against an MVC opponent, SIU turned the ball over 13 times. Eight turnovers came from Early and Jackson, the team’s two most consistent scorers.

Freshman guard Anthony Beane Jr. protected the ball much better than Bradley’s guards, but he failed to shoot as well as either of them. Bean Jr. finished the night with 13 points, but his high shot volume and selection was detrimental to the team. The freshman took 15 shots (tied with Jackson for most in the game) and made only six. He failed to connect on any of his three 3-point field goal attempts.

Braves senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards was a challenge for the Salukis all night. Simms-Edwards made three of seven 3-pointers, forced three steals and scored a team-high 18 points.

Fellow Brave senior forward/center Will Egolf also had a productive game. The Braves’ post man scored 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 25 minutes off the bench for his team. Egolf displayed his range and shooting touch in the game by draining three of the Braves’ eight 3-point shots.

Saluki sophomore post man Dantiel Daniels played 30 minutes after playing limited minutes in a win against Indiana State Saturday. Daniels failed to score double-digit points (7, 2-4) and has yet to return to his stellar rebounding production from his freshman year.

Senior guard Kendall Brown-Surles led the team with three assists, but the Salukis only dished seven in the game.  The senior hasn’t been as good at distributing the ball or scoring as he was last season.

Junior Davante Drinkard played just two minutes in the entirety of the game. The 6-foot-9 forward saw less time than both of the team’s freshmen and managed no significant stats.

SIU has been defeated the most when the team didn’t have the rebounding edge. That might explain why the Salukis, who lost the board battle 27-25 against Bradley, dropped this game as well.

As usual, size really hurt the SIU squad.

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