SIU loses first of back-to-back games against Loyola-Chicago; Dawgs fall to 3-5 in Missouri Valley

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

The Southern Illinois men’s basketball team challenged the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The Dawgs fell to Sister Jean and her crew, 59-47.

Loyola-Chicago managed to get on the board first with a three-pointer from senior forward Lucas Williamson. Williamson was a major part of last year’s upset over #1 Illinois.

Junior forward Marcus Domask helped SIU get on the board next with two free throws. The Ramblers led 3-2 with 19:13 left in the first half.

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Both teams traded baskets back-and-forth to start the game. The score was tied 8-8 by the time of the first media timeout, with 15:32 left on the clock.

The next three minutes were scoreless, and both defenses clamped down on their opposition. SIU took their first lead of the game with a bucket from sophomore center Kyler Filewich.

The Salukis led 10-8 with 12:39 left in the first half.

After Filewich’s basket, the Ramblers went on an 8-0 run, which forced head coach Bryan Mullins to call a timeout with 7:47 left in the half. Loyola held an 18-10 lead.

The Ramblers continued to score after the break, making it a 10-0 run. Junior guard Lance Jones finally knocked down a three with 4:49 left to stop the drive.

By the final media timeout of the first half, with exactly three minutes on the clock, Loyola-Chicago led 16-22.

The Ramblers continued to score, causing SIU to call two 30-second timeouts before the halftime buzzer. Loyola-Chicago threw down a momentum-gaining dunk with 1:17 left in the first half.

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Southern Illinois only scored one point after their timeouts. Loyola-Chicago closed out the half with a 7-1 run.

The clock hit zero, with the Ramblers ahead 30-17 at the halftime break.

Southern Illinois traded buckets with LUC until the first media timeout of the second half. With 15:43 left in the game, Loyola-Chicago led 37-26.

However, after the break, SIU finally managed to get back within single digits. After two free throws from freshman forward Troy D’Amico, SIU trailed by just four, 39-35.

The momentum had entirely shifted the Salukis way before the second media timeout, with 11:50 left in the game.

After the timeout, junior guard Trent Brown immediately hoisted up a three which went right through the hoop. The Salukis had cut the lead to just one.

Loyola-Chicago put their head down after the Salukis managed to get so close. The Ramblers went on to score five straight points in the next minute, silencing the run from the Dawgs.

LUC led 44-38 with 7:56 left in the second half, by the time of the second media timeout.

The Salukis trailed by eight, 48-40, with 3:58 left in the game. Both teams needed to bring their best effort after the final media timeout in order to win the game.

Senior forward Ben Coupet took the Salukis on a five-point run of his own after two free throws and a three-pointer. Loyola-Chicago was forced to call a timeout with just over three minutes left to stop the Salukis’ momentum.

This time, it was Williamson’s turn to go on a run, as he scored a layup and two free throws. After another LUC three-pointer, the game became out of reach for the Salukis.

Loyola-Chicago led 55-45 with 1:09 left in the game.

The Ramblers inevitably won the contest, 59-47. SIU was not able to pull off the comeback.

Coupet led SIU in points for the contest, with 14. While Domask was held to just six points, he did manage to pull down 13 rebounds.

SIU plays its second back-to-back game against Loyola-Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 27. This time, the Dawgs get the Ramblers on their home court in the Bantherra Center.

Sports Reporter Cole Daily can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at cdaily_de

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