Daily Egyptian

Dawgs hang on for signature win

By Aaron Graff, @Aarongraff_DE

SIU men’s basketball played a nail biter Saturday.

The Salukis (10-14, 3-9) defeated the Illinois State Redbirds (15-9, 7-5), 65-59 at SIU Arena.

Both teams were going back and forth in the first half. It was tied 7-7 early.

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SIU then made a 25-7 run, giving it the largest lead of the game. ISU rallied back with a 12-2 run to end the half, making it a 34-28 game in favor of the Salukis.

The second half was no different.

SIU took a 51-38 lead before Illinois State went on a 15-3 run, making it a 1-point game with roughly 3:30 remaining.

The Redbirds tied the game 55-55 with 2:10 remaining. ISU took a 57-55 lead with 1:29 remaining off two free throws from senior guard Daishon Knight. The game was tied again 59-59 with one minute to go. Illinois State turned the ball over three times in the last minute and the Dawgs capitalized.

“We got what we deserved that game,” Illinois State coach Dan Muller said. “It was the least competitive game we’ve played all year.”

Saluki coach Barry Hinson said he is tired of people saying the team cannot close out games. This was a signature win, he said.

“We’ve got no shot at playing a 40-minute game. None. Throw that out,” Hinson said. “It’s like telling my grandson, ‘You have to sit there and be quiet for four minutes, it ain’t happening.’”

Junior guard Anthony Beane led the field in scoring with 23 points. Freshman guard Deion Lavender followed with 15 points. Lavender led the team with 7 rebounds.

“[Beane] was terrific tonight,” Muller said. “We couldn’t guard him.”

Illinois State junior guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell led his team with 19 points. Sophomore center Reggie Lynch followed with 18 points. Lynch and his teammate freshman forward Deontae Hawkins led the field with 8 rebounds.

The Salukis play the Loyola Ramblers at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Joseph J. Gentile Arena in Chicago.

Aaron Graff can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 256.

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