Yale outlasts SIU in Ohio

By Tyler Davis

SIU overcame another sluggish start Saturday but could not beat Yale, losing its second straight game, 53-46. The team has dropped the first two games of a three-game tournament at Kent State University.

After Yale forced 4 turnovers in the early moments of the game, SIU looked like it was in for long night, similar to the Salukis’ game against Kent State. Southern rebounded, however, and held a two-point lead halfway through the second half.

The lead was quickly taken back by the Bulldogs and SIU did not hold a lead for more than a minute.

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Yale opened up a 10-point lead with less than 5 minutes left and never looked back. The Salukis continued to score but could not get enough stops to reel in the Bulldogs.

SIU forward Sean O’Brien had a game-high 19 points, which tied a career high for the sophomore from Mundelein.

Juniors Justin Sears and Jack Montague led the Yale offense. Sears, an All-Ivy League forward last season, led the Bulldogs with 17 points and Montague, a guard, added 12 for Yale. O’Brien, Sears and Montague were the only players to reach 10 points in the game.

Coach Barry Hinson’s team had 6 assists for the game compared to 12 assists for the James Jones-led Bulldogs. After the game, Hinson expressed disappointment in his team’s passing.

“When you play selfishly like we did tonight, you’re not going to get very many baskets,” Hinson said. “And it’s not just the guards; the big guys don’t have to shoot it every time they touch the ball.”

SIU has recorded less than 10 assists in all three losses this season.

The team was also outrebounded 39-31 and gave up 13 offensive rebounds to Yale. While SIU did a better job of rebounding in the second half, Hinson said it needed to improve.

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“I thought our defense was pretty doggone good with the exception of our rebounding,” Hinson said. “We can’t give up that many offensive boards.”

The Salukis went into the half down 27-23. Yale dominated the offensive glass, pulling down eight compared to SIU’s two. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Salukis 20-12 in the first 20 minutes of play.

Yale led by as many as 11 points in the first half behind Montague’s 3 three-pointers.

Junior guard Anthony Beane struggled and had 9 points and 5 turnovers, although he did hit a buzzer-beater to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 4 points going into halftime.

SIU finishes the Kent State tournament against the University of Illinois at Chicago at noon on Sunday at the M.A.C Center.

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

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