Daily Egyptian

Salukis win battle of the dogs

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

The Salukis are finally back on a winning streak back after defeating Drake Saturday, 75-60.

SIU (20-7, 9-5 Missouri Valley Conference) sealed their first 20-win season since 2006-07 when the team went to the Sweet 16.

“I don’t think I can explain how it feels,” coach Barry Hinson said. “I’m really proud of these kids at what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished. But the most important thing is I’m really happy for our program and for our fans and Saluki nation.”

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MORE: The best photos from SIU-Drake |What we learned from SIU’s win

Senior guard Anthony Beane led the way for SIU with his second-straight game of 31 points and six rebounds.  He became the second player in SIU history to reach 1,000 points in conference games.

“He has developed into the type of senior we thought he could be,” Hinson said. “I know his points are impressive, but what he’s doing besides the points is what’s most impressive to me. Controlling what goes on in the locker room, controlling what goes on in the huddle, off on the floor, on the defensive end. He’s becoming a great leader for us.”

The win also guarantees that the Dawgs will finish with at least a .500 record in the conference, which hasn’t happened since 2013-14.

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SIU held Drake (6-20,1-13 MVC) to 1-14 shooting behind-the-arc. The Dawgs shot 5-13 from 3-point range. 

Drake starters were limited to 37 points on 39 shots. Saluki starters scored 57 points on 43 shots. 

Junior center Bola Olaniyan added a double-double for the Salukis with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Drake sophomore guard Reed Timmer was limited to just five points. He scored 27 points in his previous game against SIU and came into the game averaging more than 24 points against the Salukis. 

“[Defending Timmer] was the emphasis in the game,” Hinson said. “I thought Tyler Smithpeters did really well on him. I was really proud of him.”

Hinson said this time around execution was the difference.

“There wasn’t anything different we did,” he said. “As soon as we got back from Indiana State, I told my assistants to write on the board ‘For your information: Reed Timmer is left-handed’. Today you saw, we did a good job trying to take his left hand away.”

Freshman forward Armon Fletcher led the bench with 10 points, his sixth double-digit outing this season.

“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing the coaches have that confidence in me to go out there and perform at my highest level,” Fletcher said. “I just want to continue to do that and help this team win.”

SIU will host Bradley at 7 p.m. Wednesday as the Dawgs look to push their winning streak to three games.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected]

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