Drake sweeps Salukis with 31-point win on night two

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Jared Treece/ @bisalo

Salukis forward Marcus Domask starts his jump for the rim as the Salukis would go on to win 66-49 over the Drake Bulldogs on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 in the Banterra Center.

The Southern Illinois Salukis men’s basketball team  (7-3, 1-3 MVC) lost their third-straight game Jan. 4 against the Drake Bulldogs (13-0, 4-0 MVC) by a final score of 86-55. 

Head Coach Bryan Mullins gave Drake credit for their play the last two days.

“Obviously they were the better team these two games, played extremely well again tonight. We’ve got to do a better job taking care of the ball, guarding aggressively,” Mullins said.

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The Salukis struggled shooting, especially in the first half, when the team went 0-for-11 on three-pointers and only 36.5% from the field. 

The game’s highest scorer was Drake sophomore guard Joseph Yesufu along with 14 from junior guard Garrett Sturtz. 

Sophomore forward Marcus Domask was the Salukis’ highest scorer with 13 points. Sophomore guards Lance Jones and Ben Harvey each added 10.

Domask commented on why the team struggled offensively against the Bulldogs. 

“We were facing a press past the three point line, they were being physical out there and we weren’t being physical back. They messed up our timing a lot and we’ve got to do better with handling pressure,” Domask said.

Mullins also discussed the offensive struggles against Drake. 

“I thought we got some good looks in the first half especially, and I thought we came out the first two or three minutes of the second half and played well and got it down to 16 or 14 but then they went on a 9-0 run. … Then I think our offense affected our defense a little bit and we just got to do a better job continuing to make the right decisions once we get down,” Mullins said.

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The Salukis and the Bulldogs started the game tied at nine with over 14 minutes left in the first half. The Bulldogs then went on a 14-2 run to gain a lead of 12 points, with Sturtz and Yesufu both adding four points during that run. 

The score was 32-17 for Drake with 3:57 left in the first half, but Drake once again responded with a run, this time a 7-0 run to extend the lead over 20 for the first time in the game. 

Jones and Domask both scored towards the end of the half for a halftime score of 41-21 for Drake. 

In the second half a quick run got the Salukis deficit down to 16 but it didn’t last as the Bulldogs retaliated with a 21-1 run to get the lead well over 30 points. 

At that point the Salukis weren’t able to really cut into the lead anymore.

The Salukis were able to shoot 7-14 from three in the second half after an 0-11 in the first half. Mullins spoke on carrying over that momentum into the upcoming games. 

“I thought we got good shots in the first half but we were 0-11, but I really don’t think more than one was a tough three. We had ten good looks in that first half, we’ve just got to put in the work on trusting our shooting,” Mullins said

The Salukis next games will be at Indiana State on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday the 10th. Both games will be at 12 p.m.

Sports reporter Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @RyanscottDE. 

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