Here’s what we learned from SIU’s loss to UNI

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Here’s what we learned from SIU’s loss to UNI

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The Salukis lost to last year’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion Northern Iowa 66-60 in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Arch Madness tournament.

With the loss, the Salukis must now wait to hear if they earned a post-season tournament berth. 

Here’s what we learned from the game.

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The Panthers left door open for comeback.

SIU was able to come back from a 12-point deficit with 12 minutes left to play in the game. They tied the score at 58 with 1:01 left after junior forward Sean O’Brien put in a jumper.

“We were fired up,” O’Brien said. “We thought we were going to win the game, to be honest. We just needed to get a couple stops, but they executed at the end and we didn’t.”

Three of Northern Iowa’s starters had four fouls with 2:18 left to play in the game. 

Northern Iowa’s senior guard Wes Washpun picked up his fourth foul with 8:22 left to play, and checked back in with 5:21 on the clock.

SIU was trailing by five at that point, but with UNI’s leading scorer on the bench, SIU was unable to gain ground. 

SIU wasn’t able to get the tournament jitters out.

SIU committed 11 turnovers in the first half, and six in the first six minutes of the game. 

The Salukis ended the game with 18.

Even though Northern Iowa did not trail in the game, they left a lot of points off the board. 

UNI scored seven points off of the 11 SIU turnovers and shot 3-7 from the free throw line.

The Dawgs did not make a three-point basket in the second half and shot 40 percent from the field. The did not seem at ease.

The young Salukis will be back next year.

Coach Barry Hinson had 10 different players on the court for the Salukis and only two will not be returning next season.

Senior guard Anthony Beane took more than 30 percent of the Salukis shot attempts and finished the game as the team’s leading scorer with 17 points.

“[Beane] was part of the culmination of the past four years to turn this program in the right direction,” said coach Barry Hinson. “If there’s anybody in here that has battle scars, it’s [Beane]. In the three years what he had to put up with, specifically with last year’s mass exodus, you have to give him a ton credit. We gave a really good basketball team a hell of a game today.”

O’Brien and freshman guard Armon Fletcher combined for 13 points in the second half, and O’Brien notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Four of the Salukis five starters are returning next year. Expect them to do big things in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at (618)536-3304

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