Men’s Basketball earns Third win in a row vs Southern Miss 66-41

By Joseph Bernard, Staff Reporter

The Saluki Men’s Basketball team (5-3, 1-0 MVC) hosted the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (4-5) Saturday night. The Salukis won the game easily by a final score of 66-41.

It was an all-around team performance that pulled off the victory. Four different Saluki starters tallied double digits in points, including junior forward Marcus Domask, senior guard Ben Coupet Jr, junior guards Lance Jones and Steven Verplancken. Domask led in points as well as assists with 14 points and four assists, while Coupet and Jones earned 11 each, with Verplancken not far behind with 10.

It was Coupet Jr who led the team in rebounds with seven coming from just him, while freshman forward Troy D’Amico led the defensive effort with five steals and two blocks, allowing the lowest point total by their opponent this season so far.

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Southern Miss actually earned the first points of the game, a three-pointer by Walyn Napper, but SIU earned the next 10 points and took the lead for themselves early. However, the Golden Eagles answered back, earning the next nine points of the game to take the lead again at 12-10. The two teams swapped baskets for a bit, getting to 14 all, before the Salukis went on a 9-2 run to take the lead at 23-16 with five to go in the first.

The lead shrank to just two after a Golden Eagles three pointer and pair of free throws at 23-21. With just over three minutes left of the half, SIU finished it off with a 9-2 run that was capped off with a Verplancken three pointer with 29 seconds left. They went into the locker room with a 32-23 lead over Southern Miss.

A 10-4 run capped with a Marcus Domask three pointer started the second half for the Salukis and earned them a 13 point lead at 42-29 early in the second half. A back and forth next couple minutes ended up with a 49-40 score with the Golden Eagles inching their way back, but a stifling defensive effort earned the Salukis a 17-1 run to finish the game at 66-41. SIU didn’t allow a single field goal by the Golden Eagles in the last nine minutes of play and earned SIU their third win since the Paradise Jam Tournament.

SIU will continue their season 1 week from today on Saturday December 11 with a road trip to Tulsa Oklahoma to take on the Tulsa Hurricanes. The game will start with a 1 p.m tip-off.

Sports reporter Joseph Bernard can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @Jojobernard2001.

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