Late Game Lift by Lance Jones helps Dawgs drop ISU, Move to First in MVC


Lylee Gibbs @lyleegibbsphotography

Lance Jones (5) leaps up towards the basket for a layup against Kendall Lewis (22) of Illinois State Jan. 14, 2023 at the Banterra Center in Carbondale, Ill.

The Men’s Basketball team (14-5, 6-2) took down Illinois State Saturday night to help move them into a first-place tie in the MVC with conference rivals Belmont and Indiana State. The Dawgs came out the gates swinging in the second half after trailing by three heading into the locker room to win 69-57.

Senior Lance Jones had himself a night, leading the dawgs with 21 points scored. Jones found his three-point shot once again, nailing four total and hitting 7/18 on field goals for the night. Senior Marcus Domask added 10 points, going 3/9 and hitting all four of his free throws as well as adding seven rebounds. Senior Xavier Johnson tallied three steals on the night to help the defense while adding six more points.

The dawgs came out on a hot start, earning a 9-2 lead quickly, but three straight three-pointers made for the Redbirds earned them their first lead at 11-9. Illinois State was in the driver’s seat for a little while, increasing their lead to seven after a foul by sophomore Troy D’Amico and another three-pointer with nine minutes to go in the half. 


A back-and-forth end to the half helped keep the Dawgs within striking distance. Then, redshirt freshman Scottie Ebube came up with a huge three-point play after a layup and a foul by a Redbird defender that helped the Dawgs cut it to just a three-point deficit going into the locker room.

Then, the magic happened for the dawgs. The Salukis came out barking from the locker room with a couple of 6-0 runs that put them in the lead once more at 51-40 midway through the second. Three straight threes by Jones and junior Dalton Banks helped edge the dawgs over ISU quickly.

SIU was in the driver’s seat from there. D’Amico even joined the party with a three of his own to make it an 18-point lead at 65-47 with five to go. Domask put an exclamation point on the night with a dunk with just under two to go and the dawgs closed it out for their ninth win in the last ten games.

The Dawgs will look to make it 10 wins in their last 11 with another home MVC matchup against Evansville (4-15, 0-8 MVC). That matchup will start with a 7 pm tip-off.

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

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