Southern Illinois Men’s Basketball loses close in game against Tulsa as the Salukis struggle to gain momentum

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Dec. 11, SIU traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to play the Tulsa University Golden Hurricanes. This matchup comes off their last performance against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, where SIU won 66-41.

The first score of the game came at the hands of the Hurricanes as their senior forward Jeriah Horne knocked down a three with 19:42 left in the first hlf. Senior forward Ben Coupet Jr. evened up the score for the Salukis with a three of his own.

With 18:06 left in the first half, things were getting out of hand for the Salukis. Tulsa had put up two more threes making the score 3-9.

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The Salukis managed to climb back into the game. At the time of the first media timeout at 14:01, the Golden Hurricanes only had the lead by two, 14-16.

After the timeout, Coupet went off, scoring two threes in a row and giving the Salukis their first lead of the game at 12:17. SIU was in front 20-16. This was Coupet’s third three of the game, which gave him 11 already in the contest.

The Salukis held the lead until the second media timeout at 7:26 in the first half. Southern Illinois had 26 compared to Tulsa’s 23.

Tulsa regained the lead at 6:12 left in the first half with a reverse layup by senior guard Darien Jackson. This put the Golden Hurricanes up 29-28.

In the final media timeout of the first half at 3:20, Tulsa led 33-31 over Southern Illinois in a tightly contested battle.

This time it was Tulsa’s turn to go on a run after the break, as the Golden Hurricanes jumped out to a 39-31 lead after multiple three pointers. This forced SIU head coach Bryan Mullins to call a timeout with 2:03 left in the first half.

After a 10-2 run by the Hurricanes, Tulsa held an eight-point lead going into halftime. The Salukis were behind 41-33 despite first-half heroics from Coupet.

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Coupet had kept the Salukis in the game with 15 points at half.

Junior forward Marcus Domask scored the first bucket in the second half on the Salukis first possession. After this basket, it was a back and forth affair between the two teams.

Tulsa maintained their comfortable cushion up until the first media timeout at 15:49 in the second half. The Golden Hurricanes held the lead 48-41.

After Tulsa’s lead grew to 10 points with 14:01 left in the second half, the Salukis crawled back yet again. Coupet knocked down another three (his fourth of the game), and senior guard Lance Jones scored a fast-break layup after a steal by Domask.

With SIU making the score 52-47, the Tulsa head coach called a timeout with 12:29 left in the game.

Coupet scored on an and-one opportunity to give the Salukis momentum heading into the second media timeout. With 7:39 left in the game, Tulsa led 54-49.

The pressure arose at 5:46 left in the game after Domask knocked down a triple to cut the Canes’ lead to one, 56-55. Tulsa only held a one-point lead into the final media timeout at 3:42, 58-57.

The Salukis tied the game 60-60 with a freshman forward Troy D’Amico three with 3:08 left in the game.

Tulsa pulled ahead after multiple stops, and led 65-60 with less than a minute left to play. However, Domask knocked down another clutch three to keep it close with 36 seconds left to play.

SIU pressed the Tulsa offense, but allowed an easy layup on the back end, making it a two-score game. Then, D’Amico had the ball stolen from him, which the Canes turned into two free throws. This put the game out of reach for the Dawgs.

SIU fell to the Golden Hurricanes, 69-65.

Coupet and Domask led the way for the Salukis in this game. Coupet led all scorers with 27 points, with four rebounds and two steals. Domask had multiple clutch three-pointers down the stretch, inevitably giving him 16 points on the day. He added six rebounds and seven assists to his performance.

The Salukis will hope to bounce back on Wednesday, Dec. 15 against their rival, Southeast Missouri State. The game will be played in the Banterra Center at 7 p.m.

Sports Reporter Cole Daily can be reached at [email protected]

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