Shooting woes continue in loss to Western Michigan

By Gus Bode

It’d be easy to say SIU shot itself in the foot against Western Michigan, but that would imply the Salukis were accurate shooters.

SIU (1-6) lost 54-43 to Western Michigan (2-7) in Kalamazoo, Mich., Sunday while hitting just 28.8 percent from the field. Western Michigan’s defense forced the Salukis to commit 16 turnovers, 12 of which came in the first half.

After jumping out to an early 5-4 lead, SIU went on an 11-minute offensive drought that helped Western Michigan take a 15-5 lead with 4 minutes and 34 seconds left in the first half. SIU was 0 for 13 in that stretch.

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The Salukis were down 21-11 before freshman guard Josh Swan hit a three-point jumper with 58 seconds left in the first half to make it a 21-14 game at halftime. Led by senior forward Mamadou Seck’s eight points, only three SIU players scored

Senior forward Mamadou Seck struggles for a rebound Wednesday in the Salukis’ home loss against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Salukis will face off against the Northern Illinois University Huskies Saturday in DeKalb. Isaac Smith | Daily Egyptian

in the first half. Seck finished the night with 15 points and eight rebounds.

“We didn’t have the confidence to take or make a shot,” head coach Chris Lowery said in a press release. “We dribbled ourselves into trouble and that allowed (Western Kentucky) to get some run-outs here and there.”

The Salukis slowly clawed their way back into the game in the second half. They cut the Western Michigan lead down to 39-38 after Seck hit a jumper with 6 minutes and 9 seconds left in the game, but the Broncos went on a 10-0 run to seal the victory.

“When we got to that point where we needed to take the game when they gave us a chance, it didn’t happen for us,” Lowery said in a press release.

Junior guard T.J. Lindsay was one of only two Salukis to reach double figures Sunday as he finished the night with 11 points, all of which were scored in the second half.

Lindsay was 3-4 from beyond the arc, and he has been the only consistent threat at the three-point line since sophomore guard Diamond Taylor went into a funk these last two games. Taylor only scored one three-pointer Sunday, which was one point better than his performance against Western Kentucky.

Swan has continued to develop as the team’s point guard. He had only one assist, but that’s one more than he had in his last game against Western Kentucky. He also turned the ball over only once as opposed to the seven turnovers he committed against WKU.

As a team, SIU records only 8.7 assists per game, which ranks 333 out of a possible 338 teams. Distributing the ball has been an issue for the team with the early season shuffling of the lineups, but help could be on the way soon.

Lowery said after the game that junior guard Kendal Brown-Surles could be back as early as Saturday’s game at Northern Illinois. Brown sat out every game this season so far to focus on academics, and he will probably start at point guard like he did in 19 games last year.

SIU played with only four players on the bench for the second consecutive game, with senior guard Justin Bocot still under investigation for an alleged sexual assault and freshman forward Dantiel Daniels still out with a pulled groin. There hasn’t been a timetable set for either players’ return.

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