SIU snaps losing streak with first MVC win

By Aaron Graff, @Aarongraff_DE

The eighth time is the charm.

SIU men’s basketball (8-11, 1-5) defeated the Loyola Ramblers (13-5, 3-3) for its first Missouri Valley Conference win of the season. It also ended the seven-game losing streak the Salukis were on.

“There’s only one guy happier than me in the sports world, and that’s Pete Carroll,” SIU coach Barry Hinson said, referring to the Seattle Seahawks coach, who won his second consecutive NFC Championship.

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The Salukis led 23-20 at halftime.

Hinson said when he put junior guard Jalen Pendleton in the game near the end of the half he told him the team needed a spark. Hinson said Pendleton’s efforts really got the 4,874 fans in attendance invested in the game.

“I think I pulled a hamstring when I tried to get the crowd into it,” Hinson said.

Loyola had a spark in the first 11 minutes of the second half, and led 39-33. The game had four ties after that before the Salukis pulled away.

Junior guard Anthony Beane led the field with 20 points after scoring 2 in the first half.

“Everyone in the league was holding their breath waiting for Beane to get hot,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said. “It happened on us.

Beane recorded his fourth personal foul with 10:08 remaining, but finished 6-of-7 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

“I just stayed smart and didn’t pick up any cheap fouls,” Beane said. “I knew when I came back in they were going to try and make me get my fifth foul.”

Loyola senior forward Christian Thomas was the leading scorer of his team with 15 points.

Pendleton contributed with 11 points and 3 rebounds.

Hinson said the team desperately needed the win.

“I was nervous the whole game,” he said. “I tried to act. I had a lot of Brad Pitt in me today. If you looked on my insides, it would have been Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seriously, I was messed up inside.”

Hinson said the postgame celebration was a good feeling.

“[The players] were saying something to a song,” Hinson said. “I had no idea what they were saying. I was lip-syncing, I was Milli Vanilling with them.”

The Salukis play the Bradley Braves (6-13, 1-5) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at SIU Arena.

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

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