The SIU men’s basketball team (4-0) won its fourth straight game with an 86-81 overtime win against Sam Houston State (1-2).
This is the team’s first 4-0 start since 2004. The 2004 team qualified for the NCAA tournament but lost in the second round.
Senior guard Anthony Beane, who led SIU with 21 points, was moved to the bench after committing two quick fouls with 12:44 remaining in the first half.
The Bearkats led for 17 minutes of the first half and built a 35-18 lead with 3:47 remaining in the half.
SIU narrowed the lead to five, 37-32, at the end of the first half. Beane and junior point guard Mike Rodriguez combined for nine points on the run.
With 15:48 remaining in the game junior forward Sean O’Brien picked up his third foul, joining Beane and junior center Bola Olaniyan with three fouls.
A three-pointer by junior guard Leo Vincent with 12:52 left gave the Salukis their first lead since a 3-2 lead 1:51 into the game.
SIU had a five-point lead with 1:55 to play but the Bearkats sent the game to overtime, capped off by SHS junior guard Jalin Barnes made lay-up on a shooting foul foul by Rodriguez.
Barnes made the ensuing free-throw to tie the game with 26 seconds remaining. Beane missed a 12-foot jump shot as time expired and the game went to overtime tied at 77.
Overtime started with a 5-0 run for the Salukis.
Beane led all scorers in overtime, with eight of the Salukis’ nine points, including a dunk as time expired.
O’Brien led the Salukis’ with 36 minutes. He finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Vincent and Rodriguez finished with 16 and 13 points respectively.
SIU men’s basketball plays Oakland at 7 p.m. Tuesday at SIU Arena.
Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @EvanJones_DE