Salukis blow out Bearcats behind Beane’s 22

By Tyler Davis

Coach Barry Hinson confirmed an injury, urged fans to attend the next home football game, and discussed his team’s struggles after SIU beat Division II Southwest Baptist University 79-63 Saturday night.

The Salukis never trailed in the game and Anthony Beane led the team with 22 points. Junior center Ibby Djimde was the only other Saluki to score in double figures with 10 points. Bearcat senior Derrick Stewart led all players with 28 points and shot 8-15 from three-point range.

Hinson said he scheduled the Bearcats because of their similarity to Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville.

Advertisement

“This was an exhibition game that we planned on purpose; that was Evansville,” he said. “That’s how Evansville plays. That’s a hard way to guard and I thought, quite frankly, that we guarded pretty good.”

The Bearcats, like SIU’s last opponent, the University of St. Mary, were undersized compared to the Salukis. SW Baptist relied heavily on the three, taking 30 of its 60 total shots from behind the arc.

Hinson said he was happy his team held the Bearcats to 38 percent shooting, but was disappointed in the Salukis’ rebounding effort. SIU held a narrow 42-35 advantage on the glass against a team that featured one player 6-foot-8-inches or taller. SIU has three players that height or taller.

“The issues I have with this game are the rebounds,” Hinson said. “I’m really upset with the offensive rebounds [the Bearcats] got. They got 16 and that’s way too many.”

Although SIU shot 48 percent from the free-throw line and 31 percent from three-point distance, Hinson said he was not upset about his team’s shooting. He took the blame for his players’ bad night, saying he held a late practice, which could have led to tired legs.

Junior guard Jalen Pendleton, who had 8 points and 5 assists, was one of the Salukis who struggled with his shot. He was 3-for-8 from the field and 2-for-6 shooting free throws. Pendleton, who shot 54 percent from the line last year, said he needs to improve his free-throw percentage.

“Today I was just thinking about it too much,” he said. “I’ve been working on my free throws a whole bunch this summer. I just need to slow it down and take my time.”

Advertisement

All but three Saluki basketball players saw at least 9 minutes of action. Hinson said he wants a 1o-man rotation and redshirt players will be announced Wednesday.

Freshmen Austin Weiher and Armon Fletcher, and junior Deng Leek were the odd men out Saturday, playing just a minute apiece. Leek, the team’s lone 7-footer, has already used his redshirt eligibility.

Hinson said senior guard Dawson Verhines will be out one to two weeks while nursing a broken finger on his non-shooting hand. Verhines originally posted a picture of the injury on Twitter on Friday.

SIU’s next game will be at 7 p.m. at St. Louis University Nov. 15. The Billikens will be the Salukis’ first Division I opponent of the season.

Tyler Davis can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TDavis_DE.

Advertisement