Redhawks comeback falls short as Salukis escape Show Me Center with a win


SIU’s head coach Bryan Mullins gets fired up after a misplay from the Salukis in their 63-50 win over Valaraiso on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 in the Banterra Center.

A defensive battle that saw tempers flare between rivals came down to the final shot. When the buzzer sounded in Cape Girardeau, Southern Illinois improved to 9-4 on the year with a 70-68 win over Southeast Missouri State (5-8). The win caps off a four-game winning streak to close out the non-conference portion of Southern’s schedule.

The Salukis led by as much as 11 in the second half, having overcome a similar deficit earlier in the game thanks to a 14-1 run to close out the final six minutes of the first half. However, the Redhawks staged a comeback of their own, but Southern continued to hold a steady lead.

Jawaun Newton’s two free throws with 28 seconds left pushed the lead to seven points. SEMO hit back-to-back threes in the span of ten seconds, aided by a five-second violation on Troy D’Amico on the inbound between possessions.


After Dalton Banks hit one of his two free throws on the other end, SEMO used the final 14 seconds on a missed layup, an offensive rebound that tipped towards the top of the key, and one last three-pointer that missed the mark. Despite having the momentum, the Redhawks couldn’t complete the comeback, as Southern came away victorious.

Both teams put up a good fight on defense, coming away with 13 turnovers each. Newton had one of his best games as a Saluki, adding five rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot to his nine-point contribution offensively.

Southern’s leading scorers were the usual suspects: Marcus Domask with 24 points and Lance Jones with 14. On the other end of the spectrum, Trent Brown, Troy D’Amico and Foster Wonders combined to shoot 1-for-12 from the field, and miss all nine of their collective three-point attempts.

While the Salukis suffered another tough shooting night, their defense forced the Redhawks into similar struggles. SEMO onlymade 40% of its shots compared to SIU’s 37%.

Ultimately, the difference in Wednesday’s game was free throws. While each team committed a similar number of fouls, Southern benefitted from 13 additional shots from the charity stripe, made possible in part by two technical fouls against the Redhawks.

Southern will have a week off for Christmas before returning to the court on Dec. 29, visiting Murray State (7-5) for the first time as a member of the Missouri Valey Conference. The game against the Racers will begin the bulk of SIU’s conference schedule, as they will play exclusively Valley opponents the rest of the way.

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


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