SIU loses to sister school for first time in history

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

SIU men’s basketball lost to SIUE for the first time in program history by two points Wednesday night.

The Salukis (8-2) hold the series record at 7-1 after SIUE’s (2-7) 76-74 win.

“They deserved to win this game,” coach Barry Hinson said. “Even if we would have won the ball game, we didn’t deserve it.”

Advertisement

Advertisement

Sophomore guard C.J. Carr hit a step-back jump shot with his foot on the three-point arc with 25 seconds left to give the Cougars a lead they wouldn’t lose.

Hinson said he was not confused about whether or not the shot was from three-point range.

“I didn’t want to call a timeout because I didn’t want to give them a chance to double [senior guard] Anthony [Beane],” he said. “I wanted the ball in Anthony’s hands, because obviously if you look at the stat line nobody else wanted to touch the basketball.”

The Cougars’ drew shooting fouls on their first two possessions and converted three of the four free throws.

They made a three-point field goal to go up 6-2 early. The Cougars finished the game 60 percent from behind the three-point line.

SIU committed a turnover on two of their first three possessions, and finished the game with 19. The Salukis averaged 13 turnovers a game before Wednesday.

Beane started the Saluki offense with a three-pointer 2:36 into the game. It was the Salukis’ only three of the half.

Junior center Bola Olaniyan scored seven of the Salukis first 12 points after coming off the bench.

The Cougars went into the bonus after a charge called on Beane with 7:20 remaining in the half. They had three more minutes of bonus time than the Salukis, but SIU shot seven more free throw attempts in that time.

The Salukis missed five straight free throws late in the half after converting on their first five attempts. They finished the game shooting 58 percent from the charity stripe.

Olaniyan, Smithpeters and Beane all picked up three personal fouls in the first half.

SIUE carried a 39-37 lead into the half.

Beane opened up the half with a three-point play after being fouled on a layup to give the Salukis their first lead since there were 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

SIU hit three of 15 three-pointers in the game.

The two teams had five fouls each with 14:52 remaining in the game.

SIU grabbed two offensive rebounds on the same possession, but were unable to score. SIUE’s Carr nailed a three-pointer on the Cougar’s next possession.

The Salukis were in the bonus with 12:58 left to play. The Cougars were in the bonus with 12:19 left after a foul by Rodriguez at half court.

SIUE junior forward Devin Thornton hit a three-pointer with 11 left in the half to give the Cougars a nine point lead at 55-46.

Freshman forward Austin Wieher was able to get to the line twice in short succession and shot two of four from the stripe.

SIU went into the double bonus with 9:32 remaining in the half. SIUE joined them with 9:29 left in the half after a charge by junior forward Sean O’Brien.

He played with four fouls for the last 9:30 of the game. O’Brien led the Salukis with 38 minutes played.

“It’s one of the harder losses since I’ve been here,” he said. “We just didn’t deserve to win the game. We had a run at the end, but they out played us.”

SIUE’s Thornton and Carr kept the Salukis at bay by combining for six of the Cougars seven baskets between the 13 and six minute mark, including four three-point baskets. They led 66-54 with six minutes to play.

Rodriguez hit the Salukis’ first three-pointer of the half with 4:14 remaining in the game.

Beane hit one of his own and SIU trailed 71-68 with 2:45 remaining.

He followed the next possession with a finger-roll layup. SIUE called a timeout directly after with their lead now at one point.

Rodriguez broke away with 1:30 remaining — he was fouled on a lay-up attempt, but missed both free-throws.

The Salukis trailed 74-70 after a three-pointer by SIUE’s junior Burak Eslik with 58 seconds remaining.

Freshman guard Armon Fletcher threw down a dunk, then stole the SIUE in-bound attempt and converted the ensuing layup to tie the game at 74 with 35 seconds to play.

SIU plays North Texas at 7 p.m. Saturday in SIU Arena.

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333

Advertisement