Salukis extend conference home win streak with win over Creighton 48-44

By Gus Bode

The spotlight was shining on the Salukis Saturday night and they didn’t disappoint.

Although they scored their third-lowest point total of the season, the Salukis narrowly edged out rival Creighton 48-44 at the SIU Arena.

In a game that drew hype from ESPN’s College GameDay and was televised live on ESPN2, it was senior forward Matt Shaw who came through for the Salukis.


Shaw scored 16 points and snatched seven rebounds while junior guard Bryan Mullins added 13 points and four assists.

“He really put us on his back,” Mullins said of Shaw’s performance.

The Salukis (10-10, 5-4 MVC) trailed 22-25 at halftime and struggled in the first 10 minutes of the second half, giving the Bluejays (14-5, 5-4) a 10-point advantage.

But the Salukis wouldn’t give up as a jumper by senior forward Randal Falker and back-to-back 3-pointers by Shaw put the Salukis within two with five minutes remaining in regulation.

“That’s just our mentality – to keep playing. That’s what we teach as a program is keep playing,” Shaw said. “That’s what were known for.”

It was a key rebound and bucket by senior guard Tyrone Green to tie the game and eventually let the Salukis go ahead for the win.

Coach Chris Lowery said it was the play of his seniors – Shaw and forward Randal Falker – that made the difference. Lowery said it should have been the way it was Saturday night all season long.


Junior guard Booker Woodfox paced the Bluejays with 11 points and freshman center Kenny Lawson Jr. added seven.

Creighton coach Dana Altman summed up his team’s loss with one word after the game.

“Disappointed,” Altman said. “We had our opportunity and had a lot of bad possessions offensively there in a row and gave them an opportunity to get a couple of threes and the game really changed.”

Altman said turnovers, freshman inexperience and missed free throws also factored in the Bluejays loss.

While it might not be the record of recent past Saluki basketball teams, Falker could only describe the win in one way.

“That’s old-school Saluki ball,” Falker said.

The Salukis will host Evansville Tuesday night at the SIU Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.

Megan Kramper can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 256 or [email protected].