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

New Dawg Pound President, Corey Crombar, stands next to former Dawg Pound President,
Dylan Chambers April 13, 2024 at Saluki Stadium Suite in Carbondale, Illinois.
Corey Crombar named Dawg Pound president 
By Carly Gist, Staff Reporter • April 15, 2024

A new era is beginning for Saluki Athletics. With current Dawg Pound president Dylan Chambers graduating, the group has found its next leader:...

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By Mo Collar, Staff Reporter • April 10, 2024

Rather than looking up at the sun through glasses, many could observe the progress to totality through shadows on the ground. A solar eclipse...

The band Lone Howl plays on stage together during the Total Solar Eclipse Festival.
Shawnee Cave hosts music festival in celebration of total solar eclipse
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One hundred feet under the highway, live music blared so loud concertgoers could feel it in their chests. Surrounded by a lawn of fake grass...

Salukis blow 23 point lead, fall to Bradley 70-69

Xavier+Johnson+%2810%29+battles+for+the+ball+on+the+floor+with+Darius+Hannah+%2835%29+of+Bradley+Jan.+17%2C+2024+at+Banterra+Center+in+Carbondale%2C+Illinois.+
Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto
Xavier Johnson (10) battles for the ball on the floor with Darius Hannah (35) of Bradley Jan. 17, 2024 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois.

 

With three seconds on the clock, Xavier Johnson’s last second jumper fell just short of the rim, and the Salukis fell just short of a win in a 70-69 loss to Bradley University.

 

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Though the Dawgs led by as many as 23 at the beginning of the second half, Bradley stormed back to steal a win at the Banterra Center.

 

“We didn’t play winning basketball there in that second half,” Salukis head coach Bryan Mullins said.

 

Forward Troy D’Amico added, “Our energy, our communication, we just didn’t come with it… we came out flat in the second half.”

 

The Salukis were on a tear in the first half, shooting a scorching 50% from three while also holding Bradley scoreless for several minutes-long stretches. 

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The problems began for SIU early in the second half, starting with the offense coming out of the break sluggish and scoring only 10 points in the first 9 minutes of the half. 

 

Meanwhile, Bradley had awoken offensively and poured in 23 in the same time frame, nearly matching their total from the first half cutting the deficit to 8 points.

 

SIU regained a bit of momentum via a long-distance D’Amico three pointer and a couple of buckets by Clarence Rupert, stretching their lead back to 14. A thunderous dunk by Bradley’s Darius Hannah shattered any momentum the Dawgs had regained, and the Braves finished the game on a 19-6 run.

 

Mullins explained the Salukis second half woes plainly after the game, saying, “We had different energy, in terms of we weren’t connected defensively [in the second half]. Offensively, we did some good things, we just had too many turnovers.,” Mullins said.

 

After holding the Braves to only 24 points in the first half, repeated defensive breakdowns by the Salukis allowed Bradley to pour in 46 points in the second half, including the winning free throw with under a minute left in the game.

 

While the second-half defense can certainly be pointed to as the reason for the Salukis’ collapse, their offense also went ice cold after the break; they shot under 35% in the second half. After making 7 of 14 three pointers in the first half, the Dawgs made only 1 of 7 in the second half, and went 8-23 down the stretch.

Xavier Johnson (10) dribbles the ball down the court as the Salukis face the Braves of Bradley at home Jan. 17, 2024 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois. (Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto)

 

Johnson once again led the Salukis, scoring 18 points. AJ Ferguson had his most efficient game of the season, shooting a 71% from the floor while scoring 15. 

 

SIU also celebrated Mike Reiss night, honoring the recently retired,  legendary SIU broadcaster who spent over 40 years calling SIU games with several video tributes and a halftime presentation.

Saluki broadcaster Mike Reis thanks the crowd in attendance after being recognized for his time at SIU for ‘Mike Reis Appreciation Night’ Jan. 17, 2024 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois. (Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto)

 

Next up, the Salukis will travel to Cedar Falls on Saturday to take on the Panthers of the University of Northern Iowa at 7 PM.

 

“It’s a great opportunity, a great challenge for us to respond the right way and get ready to go,” Mullins said.

 

To stay up to date on all your southern Illinois news, be sure to follow The Daily Egyptian on Facebook and @dailyegyptian on X [formerly known as Twitter].

Sports reporter Ryan Grieser can be reached at [email protected]

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