Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks
After a successful pair of home games, SIU (7-5, 1-0 MVC) travelled out west to San Francisco to take on the Dons (12-1). Sadly, the Salukis could not follow up their two-game win streak with another one and dropped this one with a final score of 64-52.
Three SIU players scored double-digit points including senior guard Ben Coupet Jr, junior forward J.D Muila, and junior guard Lance Jones. Coupet Jr led with 12 points while Muila and Jones followed with 11 and 10. It was Coupet, Muila, and junior forward Domask who had a three-way tie for the lead in rebounds tonight, with five coming from each. Domask led in rebounds with six and steals with two as well.
After a pair of field goals by San Francisco got the game started, a layup by Jones and Muila tied it early at 4-4. A jump-shot for San Francisco followed, but a 5–0 run for SIU gave them their first and only lead of the night at 9-6. It didn’t take long for the Dons to retake the lead though, as a pair of layups and a jumper earned them the lead once again at 12-9.
SIU kept it within a 3-point game until it was 13-14, but then the Dons went on a 11-2 run to make it a 25-15 ball-game late in the first half. The Dons managed to keep that 10-point lead the rest of the first half as they went into the locker room with a 36-26 lead.
A 5-0 start of the second half for the Salukis put the game back within reach for SIU. Still down at 39-33, San Francisco went on a huge 14-2 run to put the game out of reach for the Salukis at 53-35. The Dons earned their largest lead of the night at 59-39 at the seven minute mark of the second half.
After sharing shots to make it 61-42, a 9-0 SIU run followed to give them some encouragement to finish strong as the lead was cut to nine points with just under four minutes left of the game. However, USF made three free throws in the next minute for the final points of the game. No points were scored in the last 3:06 of game-time and the Salukis dropped their fifth game of the season.
The Salukis will begin another three-game homestand next Tuesday, December 28 at 7 p.m against the Missouri Baptist Spartans.
Sports reporter Joseph Bernard can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @Jojobernard2001.
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