Salukis fall to 1-8 on the road

By Gus Bode

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa �- Being away from SIU Arena continues to plague the SIU men’s basketball team.

The Salukis dropped their eighth true road game of the season as they lost to Northern Iowa Saturday night, 68-63.

Senior forward Randal Falker recorded a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds, but the Salukis (11-10, 6-5 MVC) trailed the entire contest Saturday night.


The Salukis struggled offensively as they went 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from

the 3-point line.

But it was the free throw line that created the most problems for the team. The Salukis didn’t visit the line once in the first half and ended the game having made only 13 free throws, compared to the Panthers’ 29-for-40 effort.

Coach Chris Lowery said while it might be easy to blame officiating in those circumstances, it was the Salukis’ style of play that was too “finesse” to get to the line during

the matchup.

Lowery also said the maturity level on the team isn’t where it should be at this point in the season.

“We’re a very old team. We have so much experience in our starting lineup, and then we’re not doing the things that will help us win the game in the end, especially on the road,” Lowery said.


While Falker exploded in the second half with 17 points, he didn’t produce in the final minutes of the contest.

Falker got tangled with senior forward Eric Coleman and quickly drew his final two fouls within 20 seconds of one another with just more than a minute left to play.

“We have to be more mature than that,” Lowery said. “If we have him in the end of the game it’s a different story.”

Sophomore guard Josh Bone added 13 points while senior guard Matt Shaw chipped in 12 points and five rebounds.

Northern Iowa (14-8, 6-5) was led by sophomore forward Adam Koch and junior guard Travis Brown who scored 14 points apiece.

Coach Ben Jacobson, whose team shot 40 free throws in the contest, said once the Salukis get going defensively, they’re hard to stop. That is why, he said, the Panthers’ aggressiveness in getting to the line was ultimately the difference in the game.

“It’s hard to run time against them,” Jacobson said. “You can’t just pass it around for 30 seconds. They aren’t going to let you.”

Sophomore center Jordan Egsleder came off the bench to score 11 points as 10 Northern Iowa players contributed at least one point.

The loss drops the Salukis back into a fifth-place tie in the league along with Bradley, Northern Iowa and Creighton.

The Salukis will return to the SIU Arena Tuesday to face Indiana State for the second time this season. Tip off is set for 7:05 p.m.

Megan Kramper can be reached at

536-3311 ext. 256 or [email protected].