Salukis drop fourth of their last five games; Bradley wins 70-62

By Brandyn Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

Southern Illinois (10-9, 3-4 in MVC) never held a lead in Saturday night’s 70-62 loss in Peoria against the Bradley Braves (10-10, 4-4 in MVC).

SIU was led in scoring by Lance Jones with 19 points, followed by Marcus Domask with 14, and Kyler Filewich with nine. Troy D’Amico added six points, Dalton Banks and Steven Verplancken Jr. each had five, and J.D. Muila and Ben Coupet Jr. each had two.

The Salukis shot poorly from the field, especially in the second half, where they shot 29% from the field and 15% from three-point range. Coupet in particular struggled, shooting 0-8 including 0-4 from three-point range.

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Bradley exploded out of the gate, turning two early Saluki turnovers into a 9-0 run to take a quick 11-2 lead. SIU battled back, gradually cutting into the Braves lead throughout the first half. While Bradley’s lead was never lost, Southern Illinois came within a point on three occasions in the first half.

For an eleven minute stretch that lasted through halftime, the Salukis shot 1-12 from the field including 0-4 from three-point range. This allowed Bradley to take a commanding lead that hovered around ten for the rest of the game.

While Southern’s scoring was evenly distributed, Bradley found success playing through certain players. Guard Terry Roberts scored 13 points in the first half, and 6’9” Rienk Mast and 7’1” Ari Boya combined for 15 in the second half to give the Salukis troubles on the inside.

Saturday’s loss marks the fourth in five outings for the Salukis, as they fall below .500 in conference play. Southern Illinois will play two games in the next week against the current leader and No. 22 ranked team in the country, Loyola-Chicago (14-3, 5-1 in MVC). Tuesday’s game against the Ramblers will be in Chicago, and Thursday’s game will be at the Banterra Center, tipping off at 7 p.m.

Staff reporter Brandyn Wilcoxen can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brandyn_2020

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