Salukis fall in first game of series against Indiana State

By Janae Mosby, Staff Reporter

After a three-week break, the SIU men’s basketball program (7-4, 1-4 MVC) lost the first game of the series against the Indiana State University Sycamores (7-7, 4-5 MVC), 69-66.

Southern held the lead for most of the game, but in the last minutes of the second half the Sycamores powered past the Salukis to win the game.

“I thought our guys were great and I thought our bench was great. I’m proud of our group, everything we’ve been through this last month and to come out and compete like this against Indiana State,” head coach Bryan Mullins said.

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Sophomore guard Lance Jones led SIU in scoring with 25 points and senior guard Tyreke Key led scoring for Indiana State with 23 points. Jones also led the Salukis in rebounds (5) and steals (3).

“Everybody gave great effort. It just didn’t come out our way, but our effort was great on both ends and I feel like the bench was really there for us tonight,” Jones said.

Southern was without 2020 MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year Marcus Domask for the game due to a foot injury. Domask averages 16.3 points per game, along with 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

The Salukis started the game with a layup from freshman center Kyler Filewich assisted by Jones.

“Kyler played great obviously he was in foul trouble and I wish we could have played him more, but he was productive for us,” Mullins said

Indiana State gained a two-point lead with a layup from Key and a basket from graduate student guard Tobias Howard.

The Sycamores increased their lead, 8-4, with layups from junior guard Cooper Neese and sophomore guard Jake LaRavia.

Southern decreased the gap, 10-9, with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Steven Verplancken.

A layup from sophomore guard Ben Harvey gave SIU the lead, 11-10.

The Salukis increased their lead to six points after a 3-pointer from Verplancken followed by a layup from Jones, making the score 18-12.

“Steven gets up shots everyday and it was only a matter of time when his night was going to come, I feel like he stepped up in the starting role,” Jones said.

Despite scoring from Indiana State, Southern kept the lead, 23-16, with just under eight minutes left in the first half.

The Sycamores brought the gap down to four near the end of the half after a 3-pointer from LaRavia and a free throw from Howard.

Indiana State tied the score, 31-31, with one minute left in the half after a basket from Key.

At the end of the first half, Indiana State took the lead, 34-33, after a 3-pointer from Neese.

Jones led scoring for the Salukis at halftime with 12 points and LaRavia led scoring for the Sycamores with 10 points.

SIU began the second half with a 3-pointer from Jones giving them the lead 36-34.

Both teams traded points at the start, but the Salukis stayed out in front of the Sycamores.

Indiana State tied the score, 43-43, with a basket from Neese.

Scoring went back-and-forth between the two teams and the score was tied again at 49-49.

Southern regained the lead with a layup from freshman guard Dalton Banks and a 3-pointer from Harvey.

The Sycamores took the lead near the end of the second half, 56-54, with a layup from sophomore center Tre Williams.

Indiana State increased the lead, 62-59, from scoring by LaRavia and Key with under five minutes left in the game.

The Salukis fought to regain the lead, but it was not enough to overcome the Sycamores and lost 69-66.

“We’ve got to come back ready tomorrow, we’ve got to get a split. We got to move forward and come out here with a win,” Mullins said. 

Staff reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at jmosby@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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