Salukis chop Sycamores in OT battle

By Ryan Demer, Sports Reporter

In its second consecutive overtime thriller, the SIU men’s basketball team defeated the Indiana State Sycamores 76-72.

The Salukis, who beat the Sycamores in Carbondale earlier this season, completed the season sweep of ISU in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Early in the first half, the Salukis jumped on the Sycamores with an early 14-0 scoring run that built a 17-5 lead.


From there, the Salukis held onto their double-digit lead throughout the half. The half ended with a score of 42-32 in favor of SIU.

In the half, junior center Kavion Pippen led the Salukis with 10 points.

Indiana State came rallying back in the second half and refused to go down in front of its home crowd without a fight.

With just over five minutes left, the Sycamores claimed their first lead for the first time since the opening of the first half.

Indiana State senior guard Brenton Scott led the charge for the Sycamores in the second half, as he scored 11 of his 13 points in that half alone.

After battling back in the half, ISU tried its hardest to hold off the Salukis. Following a foul, Scott was sent to the free-throw line in hopes of extending the lead.

Scott’s free throws put Indiana State on top 64-59 with only two minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock.


The Salukis were set to rally back, however, as two free throws by senior guard Tyler Smithpeters brought the deficit down to three. Smithpeters finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and finished with a game-high six assists.

After the Sycamores hit a free throw, senior Jonathan Wiley hit a jumper that narrowed the lead to two points.

Then, sophomore Aaron Cook — who posted a game-high 18 points with four rebounds and four assists — stole the ball on the next possession that set up a layup by senior guard Sean Lloyd.

Lloyd’s  score tied the game at 65 with 15 seconds left in regulation.  He finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

The Salukis then recorded a stop and sent the game into overtime.

In the extra frame, SIU capitalized early and took a five-point lead after free throws and a clutch 3-pointer from Lloyd.

The Sycamores continued to fight back and brought the score to 74-72 with just over 30 seconds left.

With 10 seconds left in the game, Cook was sent to the line with a chance to seal the win for the Salukis. He hit on both free throws to preserve the win.

Junior guard Armon Fletcher also finished with 14 points and five rebounds, making it five Salukis to score in double figures.

Up next, Southern takes on the first-place Loyola Ramblers on Feb. 21 at SIU Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

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