Salukis pull away early in win against Bradley

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

It wasn’t pretty, but the Saluki men got the job done on the court in Peoria on Wednesday night.

SIU (14-2, 3-0) beat Bradley (2-14, 0-3) 65-44 for the Dawgs’ first 3-0 start in the Missouri Valley Conference since 2007, which ended in a Sweet 16 appearance.

The win gave SIU its first 6-0 start on the road in program history. 


Both teams got off to a quick start shooting, hitting at least 50 percent in the first six minutes. The Salukis shot 58.3 percent compared to 50 percent for the Braves.

The difference came when the Salukis forced six turnovers, which turned into 7 points, giving the Dawgs a 16-9 lead with 14 minutes left in the half.

After a defensive struggle that saw only 10 points scored between the two teams in five minutes, SIU went on a 18-6 run, which included back-to-back 3-pointers by junior guard Leo Vincent. SIU led 41-23 at halftime.

However, the second half was a much uglier story.

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field, and made 1-10 3-point shots in the second half.

To make matters worse, the Salukis turned the ball over 11 times, compared to Bradley’s 16 second-half turnovers. Overall, SIU committed 19 turnovers to the Braves’ 28.

Senior guard Anthony Beane led the Salukis with 11 points on 3-10 shooting. He was averaging 21.6 points per game entering the night.

Junior center Bola Olaniyan finished a bucket away from a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.

The Salukis will be back home at 7 p.m. Saturday to face the Wichita State Shockers, who they haven’t beat since Feb. 5, 2013. 

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