Daily Egyptian

Salukis grind out win against Indiana State

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

SIU men’s basketball grinded out a foul-plagued victory Wednesday night, beating Indiana State 79-66 in a game that took two hours but felt more like four.

The Dawgs (17-3, 6-1) received a season-high 38 points off the bench and forced Indiana State (10-9, 4-3) to shoot 37 percent overall. The win guarantees the first winning season for the Salukis since the 2007-2008 season.

MORE: What we learned from SIU’s win over Indiana State

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The plethora of fouls called on both teams was the story of the game, which slowed the pace to a crawl. Fifty-seven combined fouls were called throughout the matchup.

“It’s tough try to get in a rhythm,” said junior guard Leo Vincent of the many whistles. “But when fouls are being called like that, you just have to stay on your toes.”

A 10-3 SIU run with 6:30 left in the game gave the Dawgs a 14-point lead, which would stay in double-digits until end the game.

The Salukis got off to a hot start, going 6-8 from the floor en route a 15-5 lead to begin the game. 

Twenty-six fouls were called on the two teams in the first half, resulting in a combined 36 free throws. SIU shot 11-14 from the free-throw line, while the Sycamores shot 14-22.

Senior guard Anthony Beane and junior center Bola Olaniyan were held scoreless in in the first half, but played just four combined minutes due to foul trouble.

Senior center Deng Leek — whom averages 3.1 minutes and 0.6 points per game — recorded more points (two) than Beane and Olaniyan combined in the first half.

The bench stepped up in their absence, scoring 31 of the Salukis’ 40 first-half points including 11 from Vincent and six from senior center Ibby Djimde.

Coach Barry Hinson, who refers to Djimde as “Grandpa” because of his bad knees, said rest may have helped his strong effort tonight. 

Vincent finished with a team-high 18 points.

“I trust these kids coming off the bench,” Hinson said. “I think you got to give it up to those kids [they] were pretty impressive.”

The second half continued the foul trend as Beane, Olaniyan and ISU’s Khristian Smith fouled out of the game and five others finished with four fouls. 

Beane finished with a season-low eight points, the first time he was held to single-digits since Nov. 27 against the University of Texas at El Paso.

ISU struggled from the floor in the second half, shooting 29.6 percent and 0-9 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, SIU shot 52.2 percent in the second half.

“We challenged our team defensively,” Hinson said. “I’m tired of seeing us at the bottom of the league in defense.”

Sycamore senior guard Devonte Brown had a game-high 26 points, 12 of which came at the free-throw line. Outside of Brown, the Sycamores shot just 29.4 percent from the field.

SIU will try to go 7-1 in conference play at 3 p.m. Sunday at Missouri State.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3304

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