SIU men’s basketball starts season with exhibition win

SIU men's basketball starts season with exhibition win

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU men’s basketball team defeated Maryville, a Division II school from St. Louis, 106-73 Monday night. 

All 15 Salukis scored and recorded playing time, led by junior guard Tyler Smithpeters and senior guard Anthony Beane who played 23 and 22 minutes, respectively. 

The starting five was rounded out with three juniors: guard Leo Vincent, center Bola Olaniyan and forward Sean O’Brien. 

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O’Brien led the team with 17 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds in 19 minutes. 

There was no scoring for the first 2:22 of the game, but there were five fouls called. The teams had 49 fouls combined. 

When scoring started, it was primarily by the Salukis.

O’Brien and Vincent started with back-to-back three-pointers, giving SIU a 6-0 lead. The Saints scored their first points at the 11-minute mark, with the Salukis leading 18-2. 

SIU led Maryville 40-18 with three minutes left in the first half. It was the type of game coach Barry Hinson doesn’t enjoy. 

“I hate games like that — I just hate it,” Hinson said. “There’s no intensity in the stands, there’s no intensity on the bench and you get lulled into that degree of play and I don’t like that. Especially since we have kids who have never played Division I basketball.”

At the end of the first half SIU led 48-27. They out-rebounded Maryville 25 to 10 in the first half. Eleven were offensive rebounds for the Dawgs. 

Hinson said he was happy when his players got inside the paint, even if it wasn’t to score. 

There were 26 total fouls called in the first 20 minutes. SIU was seven of 15 from the free throw line. Maryville was eight of nine. 

O’Brien led SIU in scoring with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists at the half. Smithpeters added eight points and six assists.

“We’ve been practicing now for three months,” Smithpeters said. “It’s a big difference having a true point-guard now — he’ll be able to get you the ball.”

SIU returned its starting five to the court for the beginning of the second half. 

Maryville continued its foul trouble into the second half, registering another 14 fouls. SIU was in the bonus less than six minutes into the half, and was in double-bonus less than eight minutes in.

Redshirt Freshman guard Armon Fletcher played 19 minutes. He finished the game with 10 points and three steals, which tied Smithpeters for the team lead.

“It was fun getting out there and giving the fans what they wanted to see,” he said. “I played hard for my guys and coach Hinson.”

Junior forward Jeremy Postell registered nine minutes and went three for four from behind the three-point line.  

The Salukis start the regular season against Air Force at 7 p.m. Friday at SIU Arena. 

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @EvanJones_DE

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