Salukis lose to Ball State on Bracketbuster weekend

By Joe Ragusa

The Salukis let Ball State run away early Saturday.

SIU (8-20) lost 71-62 against Ball State (13-12) Saturday in Muncie, Ind., in the annual BracketBusters game. The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead with a 24-2 run in the first half that included five 3-pointers.

Ball State connected on 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. In the previous two games, Saluki opponents hit 24-of-26 3-pointers.


SIU pulled within four points with 43 seconds left in the game on a 3-pointer by junior guard T.J. Lindsay and had a chance to cut the Cardinal lead to two with 34 seconds left, but junior guard Kendal Brown-Surles missed a 3-point attempt, and Ball State came away with the victory.

Senior forward Mamadou Seck posted a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Ball State guard Randy Davis had a team-high 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting.

BracketBusters is an ESPN-sponsored event that matches teams with similar Ratings Per Index (RPI) for games over a three-day period from 16 participating conferences. The purpose is to give teams one extra non-conference game against a similar opponent before the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament is determined in March.

The loss for the Salukis tied the school record for losses in a season with the 1981 and ‘86 teams.

SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference play Wednesday when it travels to Drake for a 7:05 p.m. tip-off.