Salukis fall to Redbirds in OT thriller

By Ryan Demer, Sports reporter

The Salukis fell to the Illinois State Redbirds 76-68 Thursday night at Bloomington-Normal, Illinois in an overtime thriller.

The loss breaks Southern’s five-game win streak and is the first game to reach OT this season for the team.

The Salukis were out-rebounded 46-31 by the Redbirds in the contest.


The game began with SIU going on a 7-0 scoring run, finished by a 3-pointer from junior guard Marcus Bartley.

Bartley finished with 8 points, 3 steals and 2 assists.

ISU immediately rallied with a 15-2 scoring run of their own to take the lead.

The Salukis continued to fight, never allowing their deficit to reach double digits. By the end of the first half, the score was a tight 38-36 in the Redbirds favor.

The second half saw much of the same as the first half, with both teams battling for control over one another.

ISU led throughout most of the half, but Southern took the lead late with 5 minutes remaining after senior guard Tyler Smithpeters drilled a 3-pointer.

Both teams continued to battle until junior center Kavion Pippen scored a bucket to build a 3-point lead for the Salukis with a minute and a half left.


Pippen earned a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

However, ISU found an opportunity to tie the game at 64-64 with 30 seconds left and stopped SIU to force overtime.

The Redbirds immediately took control at the start of the overtime period, scoring 4 quick points.

SIU scored after, but the Southern offense struggled in OT and scored only 4 points.

ISU converted successfully from the free throw line to seal their victory late.

Three Salukis scored in double digits. Junior guard Armon Fletcher scored 14 points and dished 3 assists. Senior guard Sean Lloyd finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds while dishing 3 assists and getting 2 steals.

SIU continues action this Sunday afternoon to face the Bradley Braves back at the SIU Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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

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