Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Austin Peay snaps Southern’s non-conference home win streak

Xavier+Johnson+%2810%29+goes+up+towards+the+basket+for+a+layup+against+Austin+Peay+Dec.+12%2C+2023+at+Banterra+Center+in+Carbondale%2C+Illinois.++
Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto
Xavier Johnson (10) goes up towards the basket for a layup against Austin Peay Dec. 12, 2023 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois.

SIU men’s basketball’s 24-game non-conference winning streak at the Banterra Center came to an end on Tuesday, after the Salukis (6-3) fell to the Austin Peay Governors (6-6) by a score of 70-68.

“It’s gonna hurt tonight, but… we just have to put it behind us and get better,” point guard Xavier Johnson said.

The Salukis had not lost a non-conference home game since November 2019, and held a six-game winning streak at home dating back to last season.

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Coming off of a huge win its last time out against Oklahoma State a week ago, SIU continued its momentum with a first-half performance that would give them a nine-point lead at halftime.

However, the Governors rallied to tie it up at the 7:13 mark, and wouldn’t allow Southern to regain the lead for the rest of the game.

“Just not playing with the same intensity as we had in the first [half],” Johnson said. “That’s really all it is.”

The Salukis did not make another shot after Johnson’s jumper with 5:02 left in the game. They stayed in the game with free throws, going 7-for-7 from the line in the final five minutes, but couldn’t make the bucket they needed to get the lead back.

“I think we got downhill, I just didn’t think we made good decisions once we got to the paint,” Mullins said. “We took contested twos, we took tough twos, we took shots with guys in front of our chest when we got to the paint and they were collapsing.”

Johnson led the team in scoring once again with his third-straight 30-point game; this time racking up 31, including an 11-for-12 showing from the free throw line. He also dished out eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds.

He and Troy D’Amico played in all 40 minutes of Tuesday night’s game. D’Amico added 10 points and five rebounds.

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“I think our first group has been pretty good for us,” Mullins said. “Especially the last couple weeks. In terms of the other guys, we need other guys to step up. We’ve gotta continue to have good practices, and we want to continue to have a deeper rotation moving forward for sure.”

Clarence Rupert tallied 10 points and six rebounds, while true freshman Kennard Davis Jr. scored nine points and had a team-high eight rebounds.

The Dawgs will be on the road to Wichita, Kansas to take on Wichita State (7-3) on Saturday, Dec. 16 for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Kennard Davis (30) shoots a three from the corner as the Salukis host Austin Peay at home Dec. 12, 2023 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois. (Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto)

Staff reporter Joei Younker can be reached at [email protected].

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

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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