Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks
Coming off of a one-point victory over Bradley on Feb. 7, the Saluki men’s basketball team (9-8, 3-8 MVC) suffered a tough loss against the Missouri State University Bears (12-5, 8-5 MVC) on Feb. 10.
Both teams had a slow start to the game, with each only scoring around 20 points in the first half, but the Bears caught momentum in the second half and the Salukis were unable to regain the lead, losing 65-53.
“I give Missouri State credit. They played extremely well in the second half. I thought our first half effort was great [and] I thought offensively we had some really good looks,” SIU head coach Bryan Mullins said.
Sophomore guard Lance Jones led scoring for the Salukis with 13 points and junior guard Keaton Hervey led scoring for the Bears with 18 points. Jones also led in steals with two.
Missouri State began the game with a basket from senior forward Gaige Prim assisted by sophomore guard Isaiah Mosley.
This was followed by a 3-pointer from SIU’s sophomore guard Steven Verplanken.
The Bears gained a three-point lead, 10-7, after layups from Prim, Hervey and junior guard Demarcus Sharp.
Southern tied the score 10-10 with a 3-pointer from senior forward Anthony D’Avanzo.
The defensive efforts from both sides held each team scoreless for several minutes.
SIU ended the scoreless streak with a layup from D’Avanzo giving them the lead, 12-10.
Missouri State regained the lead near the end of the first half with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Ja’Monta Black making the score 15-13.
The Salukis fought to close the gap with scoring from sophomore guard Trent Brown, sophomore guard Ben Harvey, D’Avanzo and freshman guard Dalton Banks but the Bears kept the lead, 24-21, at the end of the half.
D’Avanzo led scoring for SIU at halftime with nine points and Sharp led scoring for the Bears with six points.
Scoring went back-and-forth in the beginning of the second half with a basket and a free throw from SIU freshman center Kyle Filewich and layups from Sharp and Black.
Missouri State increased their lead, 32-24, after a layup from Prim and a basket from Hervey.
The Bears continued scoring with two 3-pointers from Hervey, making the score 40-29.
A set of free throws from Harvey, one free throw from Banks and 3-pointers from Verplancken and Jones cut the Bears lead down to three points.
“The momentum was there for us, Lance hit that big three and then they had to call a timeout. We just came out flat after that timeout and we never really came back,” Banks said.
Missouri State brought their lead back up to 11 points with a 3-pointer and three free throws from Black and two free throws from Hervey, making the score 50-41.
The Salukis fought to decrease the Bears lead with a layup from Banks and two free throws from Verplancken with five minutes left in the game.
Despite Southern’s effort, Missouri State continued to lengthen their lead, 59-48, with a layup from and a basket from Mosley.
Free throws from Hervey and Black in the last minute of the game sealed the victory for the Bears, 65-53.
The Salukis will take the court again on Feb. 13 against Illinois State at the Banterra Center at 3 p.m.
Staff reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @mosbyj.
To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.