Domask, Jones, lead Salukis to second-half comeback over OSU, 61-60

Southern+Illinois+University+Saluki+number+one+forward%2C+Marcus+Domask%2C+protects+the+ball+during+the+basketball+game+against+the+Evansville+Purple+Aces+in+the+SIU+Banterra+Center.+The+game+ended+53+to+70+with+SIU+taking+the+win+on+Thursday+night%2C+February+20%2C+2020.

Nicole Tillberg | @nicoletillberg315

Southern Illinois University Saluki number one forward, Marcus Domask, protects the ball during the basketball game against the Evansville Purple Aces in the SIU Banterra Center. The game ended 53 to 70 with SIU taking the win on Thursday night, February 20, 2020.

Down by as many as 13, the SIU Men’s Basketball team clamped down late in Thursday night’s contest versus the Cowboys (2-1) to sneak away with a narrow 61-60 win to move to 2-0 on the young season.

The Dawgs can thank huge efforts from senior forward Marcus Domask and senior point guard Lance Jones for the win on the night. Domask and Jones combined for 35 of the Saluki’s 61 points on the night. Jones led with 19 while Domask wasn’t far behind with 16. Domask however led in rebounds with seven and assists with four, making for an all-around performance.

It was Domask’s three-pointer with 22 seconds left that gave Southern the late lead that would help SIU seal the deal over Oklahoma State. One last chance by the Cowboys was shut down when sophomore forward Troy D’Amico came up with a clutch steal to help the Saluki’s tie a knot on the upset performance.

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Things were looking quite good for the Salukis early as they got out to a 13-4 lead quickly in just under seven minutes of play. But the Cowboy’s offense wasn’t going to be stopped for much longer, as they took their first lead of the day at 18-17 off a jump shot with just over eight to go in the half. They would stretch that lead by as much as six before heading into the locker room with a 33-28 lead over the Dawgs.

The start of the second half could not have been more opposite of the beginning of the game for the Salukis, as the Cowboys earned the first eight points of the half to go up by 41-28, just over three minutes into the half. The Cowboy’s defense just would not let the Salukis come back for the longest time, almost icing the game with just under seven to go at 55-45.

But a late 16-5 run, with all points scored by either Domask or Jones, jumped the Salukis back into contention for the game. The run started and ended with two three-point jumpers made by Domask to carry the Salukis to victory. After Domask’s three with 22 left to go, it was up to one last stop by the Saluki defense that had stepped up in the previous six minutes of play to come up with another one.

D’Amico was the one coming up with a great tip to stop the Cowboys from having any opportunity to take the lead again. The Cowboys got the ball back once more after two missed free throws by the Salukis, and a missed jump shot for the Cowboys sealed the deal for the Dawgs to upset the Cowboys in a thrilling second-half comeback.

The win marks a huge statement win for the program against an impressive Big 12 program. The Salukis will next suit up against Southern Indiana on Sunday when they face the Screaming Eagles (0-1). That game will be played at 3 pm.

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

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