Daily Egyptian

SIU basketball begins season 3-0

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU men’s basketball team (3-0) beat the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-1) 72-69 Wednesday night at SIU Arena. 

The Salukis are now 3-0 for the first time since 2012 behind senior guard Anthony Beane’s 32 points, which tied for his career high. 

Kent State started three players taller than 6-foot 7-inch SIU junior center Bola Olaiyan.

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SIU was out-rebounded 43-32 in the game.

“Very seldom do you win a game when you get out rebounded like we did,” coach Barry Hinson said. “In the Missouri Valley [Conference] we will never play a team with a front line like that.” 

Kent State forced a tie once in the game when the score was 23-23 with 4:30 left in the first half, but never led. 

Beane opened scoring with the first five points for the Salukis, and seven of the Salukis’ first 13 points. 

The SIU defense kept the Golden Flashes off the scoreboard for more than three minutes, and started the game on a 10-2 run in the first four minutes. 

The teams combined for 10 total fouls in the first seven minutes of the game. Kent State was in the bonus with just more than nine minutes to play in the first half. The Salukis’ weren’t far behind — a minute later, SIU was in the bonus. 

Both teams had 10 fouls with more than five minutes to play in the first half. They finished the half with 24 total fouls: 13 for SIU and 11 for Kent State. 

SIU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half including three for eight from behind the three-point arc. 

Beane played all 20 minutes in the first half, leading the Salukis with 15 points and no personal fouls. 

“I just took what the defense gave me, and what happened, happened,” Beane said. “We’re 3-0, it’s a great feeling, but you can’t be satisfied.” 

Olaniyan fouled out with 5:25 left in the game and junior forward Sean O’Brien fouled out with eight seconds remaining. 

With two minutes left, a step-back jumper for Beane gave him 32 points on the night and extended the SIU lead to 72-66. 

Beane finished the night with a team-leading 32 points, eight rebounds in 39 minutes. 

A buzzer-beating attempt was thrown up from the corner by junior guard Kellon Thomas to possibly tie the game and force an overtime, but the shot missed. 

The SIU men’s basketball team plays Sam Houston State at 1 p.m. Saturday in Huntsville, Texas.  

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

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