Shockers cruise to victory against Salukis

By Aaron Graff, @AaronGraff_DE

SIU men’s basketball will have to play in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with the Tuesday loss.

The Salukis (10-18, 3-12) lost 84-62 to the No. 13 Wichita State Shockers (25-3, 14-1) at SIU Arena.

“We don’t have one player on our team that could start for Wichita State,” Saluki coach Barry Hinson said. “When you run up against a squad like that, you really have got to play perfect.”

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The game was tied 2-2 after an alley-oop from freshman guard Deion Lavender to freshman forward Jordan Caroline, but it was all Wichita after that.

Wichita State went on a 12-0 run before junior guard Anthony Beane ended it with a jump shot roughly 4:30 into the game.

The Salukis brought the game back within four points, but the Shockers ended the half on a 20-11 run in the last 9:30 to give them a 41-28 lead.

Junior guard Jalen Pendleton was tied for second on the team with 6 points in the first half. He suffered a concussion and did not return.

Hinson said the team will evaluate him and Caroline, who suffered a minor injury before returning. 

The Shockers took momentum into the second half and had their lead peak at 27 points with roughly 10 minutes left.

Shortly after, the Wichita State starters were pulled, and not brought back in for four minutes, when it was a 20-point game.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “It got to 18 points with 5:30 to go. To me, I still think I’m in the game. I just wanted a couple of possessions to calm it down.” 

Wichita State cruised to victory after that.

The Shockers finished 10-of-19 from three-point range, while the Salukis were 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. 

Wichita State scored 21 points off 10 turnovers. 

“If you would have told me going in to tonight we’d only have 10 turnovers, God, I would’ve high fived you and put you on my Christmas list,” Hinson said. 

WSU freshman forward Shaquille Morris led the field with 17 points, and was tied for the lead with two other players with 7 rebounds. 

Lavender led the team in scoring with 15 points.

“It wasn’t like we played bad,” Lavender said. “That’s just a good team.”

Despite the record, Hinson said he will still play whoever deserves the time, rather than giving time to younger players.

“They hired me at Southern Illinois to win ballgames,” Hinson said. “They call it Arch Madness, they call it March Madness for a reason. Let’s get one thing straight, we ain’t quitting.”

The Salukis play the Indiana State Sycamores (13-13, 9-5) at 12:05 p.m. Saturday at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind.

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

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