Southern’s senior night ends sourly

By Janae Mosby, Sports Reporter

The senior night celebration for the SIU Men’s Basketball team soured fast this evening as the Salukis trailed the Indiana State University Sycamores entering the second half of play.

Indiana State (17-11, 10-7 MVC) took the lead at the end of the first half and Southern (16-14,10-7 MVC) was unable to regain enough momentum to close the gap losing its final home game at Banterra Center, 77-68.

The teams battled neck-and-neck, tying the game on six separate occasions, but SIU couldn’t manage to stay on top.

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“They played better than us tonight,” Saluki head coach Bryan Mullins said. “[So], I give all the credit to them. We have to get back to playing SIU basketball.”

Indiana State went 6-for-10 (60%) from the 3-point line and 31-for-54 (57.4%) from the field. 

Scoring for the Sycamores was headed by senior guard Jordan Barnes (21 points) and junior guard Tyreke Key (20 points). 

“[It] was a big team win for us against the hardest team to score against in the league all year,” Indiana State head coach Greg Lansing said. “I thought our guys fought extremely hard every possession.”

SIU was led in scoring by graduate student center Barret Benson, who tallied 17 points, and freshman guard Lance Jones, who was right behind his teammate with 16. 

The Salukis struggled from the 3-point line going 6-for-22 (27.3%) and the field going 25-for-53 (47.2%).

The Sycamores were the first to score after the jump ball with a layup from freshman guard Jake LaRavia. 

SIU followed with a 3 pointer from graduate student guard Ronnie Suggs Jr. 

Southern went on a four-point run with layups from senior guard Eric McGill and Jones.

A foul sent Sycamore senior guard Christian Williams to the free throw line where he made both shots to tie the score 7-7.

The Salukis gained the lead again with a layup from Benson followed by a jumper from Jones. 

SIU lengthened the lead, going on a 6-3 run with layups from sophomore guard Harwin Francois and McGill. Junior forward Brendon Gooch also contributed to the run with two free throws to make the score 21-14.

The Sycamores fought back by going on a 5-0 run with a jumper and a 3-pointer from Key assisted by Barnes. 

After the game tied once more, two layups from Barnes and Williams gave Indiana State the lead in the last two minutes of the half.

Indiana State pulled away with an 8-0 run on a layup followed by two 3-pointers from Key and LaRavia.

Jones ended the run with a jumper that brought the score to 38-32 and Benson followed with a 3-pointer to close the gap.

The period ended with two Sycamore baskets that gave Indiana State a 45-37 lead at halftime.

Domask started the second half with two consecutive baskets that helped shrink the growing deficit, 47-39. 

Two 3-pointers from McGill and Francois helped the Salukis go on a 6-0 run, helping to get the team within just four points of Indiana State.

Before Southern could tie the game, a jumper from sophomore guard Cooper Neese and two free throws from Barnes stretched the Sycamores’ lead to 57-52.

SIU continued shaving points off of the lead scoring eight more points. The run featured a dunk from Benson and  layup from Domask. 

Southern tied the score with just over six minutes left to play at 63-63 with a 3-pointer from Jones. 

After this, the Sycamores turned up the heat and broke the tie by going on a 10-2 run, starting with three consecutive layups. This run increased the Indiana State lead to 73-65.

LaRavia ended the game with two free throws in the last seconds and this sealed the 77-68 win for Indiana State.

Next, the Salukis will take on the Missouri State University Bears on Feb. 29. Tip-off at Springfield, Ill. is set for 3 p.m.

 

Sports reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbyjanae.

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