Daily Egyptian

Salukis fall prey to rival SEMO 75-69

Junior+guard+Eric+McGill+reaches+for+the+ball+Saturday%2C+Dec.+9%2C+2017%2C+during+the+Salukis%E2%80%99+75-69+loss+against+the+Southeast+Missouri+Redhawks+at+SIU+Arena.+%28Dylan+Nelson+%7C+%40Dylan_Nelson99%29
Junior guard Eric McGill reaches for the ball Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

Junior guard Eric McGill reaches for the ball Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

Dylan Nelson

Dylan Nelson

Junior guard Eric McGill reaches for the ball Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks defeated the Salukis 75-69 Saturday night at SIU Arena.

This marked their first win in the arena in their storied rivalry with SIU.

“This isn’t one of those games where we played bad,” head coach Barry Hinson said. “It was one of those instances where we had another team come and beat us on our home floor, and we have to give SEMO a lot of credit.”

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In the the first half battle, the Salukis missed some shots early on and were unable to outscore the Redhawks, despite overwhelming them on the boards.

SEMO gained some momentum early on after a controversial call where it looked like junior guard Sean Lloyd drew a charge, but it was ruled a block on the court.

“Any time one of your starters get two fouls early, it hurts,” Lloyd said on the play. “It really just sucks the energy out of a lot of people.”

Lloyd finished the game with 15 points and 6 rebounds.

Dylan Nelson
Junior center Kevin Pippen dunks the ball Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

After the play, SEMO went on a 18-4 scoring run for over 6 minutes of play to build a 27-13 lead, thanks to its pressuring defense and 3-point shooting.

Junior center Kavion Pippen slammed a dunk that appeared to get Southern back on track, but SEMO kept responding.

In his second game for SIU, junior guard Marcus Bartley lobbed one for Pippen for a play that would have been impressive for the crowds, but the two were unable to connect.

The Redhawk’s sophomore guard Denzel Mahoney played well in the first half, dropping 13 points and shooting 2-3 from beyond the arc.

He finished the game with 18 points and 4 rebounds.

After his free throw made the score 39-20, SIU was up against a huge lead before heading into the locker room.

However, junior guard Eric McGill scored on a layup and then the Salukis drew an offensive foul to give them 3 seconds before the half to score.

From there, senior guard Tyler Smithpeters heaved a deep 3-pointer and sunk it to give SIU more breathing room heading into the second half.

Dylan Nelson
Junior forward Rudy Stradnieks grabs the ball under Redhawk defense Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

In the second half, the Salukis came out to play shooting much better 3-point shots than they were earlier to close to deficit to within single digits.

Despite Southern’s efforts to get back in the game, the Redhawks continued to shoot lights out from 3-point territory.

They shot 12-26 for the game, as compared to SIU’s 11-28 shooting from beyond the arc.

As a result of this, SIU was unable to get past a 9-point deficit for most of the half until there was about 6 minutes left in the game.

There, they were within 5 after junior guard Armon Fletcher threw down an electrifying dunk to make the score 59-54.

Fletcher finished the game with 10 points and a game-high 8 rebounds. He also added a steal.

SEMO continued shooting well from beyond the arc, making it difficult for SIU to string together a comeback. They eventually built a 69-55 lead with just over 2 minutes left.

The Salukis kept battling and resorted to full-court pressure defense to keep the game alive.

Dylan Nelson
Junior guard Marcus Bartley (3) jumps to pass the ball Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, during the Salukis’ 75-69 loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

After a couple of layups by sophomore guard Aaron Cook, the score was 73-69.

“Everybody on the team just told me to keep shooting it,” Cook said. “I’d like to thank my teammates for getting me going, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Cook finished with a game-high 18 points and also dished 3 assists.

SEMO shot well enough from the charity stripe in the latter portion of the game to secure the victory.

SIU resumes play Wednesday at SIU Arena where they will host the Jackson State Tigers. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE 

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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