Salukis, Blue Jays look for redemption

By Gus Bode

SIU and Creighton have more to prove Saturday than the fact they deserve a national spotlight.

As the teams prepare to face off on ESPN’s College GameDay, both are still reeling from last-second losses Wednesday night. The heart-breakers, coupled with the national stage, have both teams revved up for the conference showdown.

The Salukis (9-10, 4-4) dropped a close one in Springfield, Mo., as they lost to Missouri State on two last-second free throws by senior forward Dale Lamberth. Creighton lost to No. 22 Drake in overtime the same night, 68-60.


The loss Wednesday night puts the Salukis road record at 1-7 for the season and in a three-way tie for fifth place in the MVC standings. Coach Chris Lowery said he isn’t ready to count out the Salukis, who were the unanimous favorite to win the conference.

“It’s still going to go down to the wire I think,” Lowery said in a post game radio interview after the Salukis loss to Missouri State.

Creighton will look to break a seven-year losing streak in Carbondale, its last win coming on Feb. 10, 2001.

Senior forward Dane Watts leads Creighton’s offense with 12.7 points and 6.9 rebounds while freshman guard P’Allen Stinnett adds 10.9 points per game.

Last season, the two teams battled it out for both the regular season conference title and tournament championship in St. Louis, splitting the rights between each other.

With a program that has been predominately led by seniors, Lowery has said that junior guard Bryan Mullins has picked up the reins left by his departed teammates.

Lowery said he didn’t tell his point guard to take control of the team, but has willingly accepted his role.


Mullins said he can feel the change in his role because of his experience in the back court.

“It’s taken some time and I think I’m doing a better job of it now,” Mullins said. “And guys are starting to fall in line and were starting to play better but we have to get better everyday.”

Tip off for Saturday’s game will be at 8:05 p.m. Doors will open to the Dawg Pound at 6:00 p.m. and an hour after to the general public.

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