Salukis cannot sustain first-half success

Salukis cannot sustain first-half success

By Matt Wells, @mattwells_DE

SIU men’s basketball (10-20, 3-14) lost to Illinois State (18-11, 10-7), 73-56 marking its fourth ever 20-loss season, despite junior guard Anthony Beane’s 24 points.

It was a scoring war between Beane and Illinois State junior guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who also scored 24 points.

Beane led SIU in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 3 3-pointers to a halftime 36-36 tie.

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A tie for most teams would not be such a notable thing, but SIU has lost every time it has started the second half behind their opponent this season.

The Redbirds clamped down in the second half.

SIU scored at a rate of 36.3 percent on 8-of-22 from the field in the second half.

Illinois State started on a 9-0 run. Beane stopped the bleeding momentarily with his fourth 3-pointer of the game to make it a 45-39 deficit.

Foul trouble hurt the Salukis yet again.

Their 17 personal fouls resulted in 14 points from the line for the Redbirds.

SIU stayed competitive in spurts until back-to-back 3-pointers by ISU junior Justin McCloud with 5:29 left in the game ended the Dawgs’ hopes.

The Redbirds coasted to the win from there, only calling timeouts in order to put their seniors in for their senior night.

Coach Barry Hinson said all that was built in the first half completely went to the other end of the spectrum, in an interview with Saluki broadcaster Mike Reis.

The Salukis have lost 16 of their last 19 games and play Drake (9-19, 6-10) at 3:05 p.m. Saturday at SIU Arena.

Matt Wells can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269.

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