Dawgs beat Bears for fourth straight

By Tyler Dixon

For the first time since 2008, the Salukis have a four- game winning streak in the Missouri Valley Conference.

With the excitement surrounding SIU’s All-Century Team, the Salukis (10-15, 6-6) continued their momentum Saturday to beat Missouri State University (16-8, 6-6) 72-54.

Sophomore guard Anthony Beane had his fourth- straight 20-point game as he finished with a game-high 26 points. Beane is averaging 23.7 points per game. Senior Desmar Jackson was the only other Saluki in double figures. Jackson finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

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At halftime, the Salukis had a 29-27 lead after Beane hit a late 3-pointer.

Coach Barry Hinson said Beane has been playing well and he expects everything Beane shoots to go in the basket.

“I thought the 3-point basket before we went in at half was huge,” Hinson said.

Even with Beane’s offensive game clicking, he said more credit is deserved when his team does not have the ball.

”I thought it all went down to the defensive end,” he said. “We were all bought in on the defensive end. We were just able to come down in transition and find each other.”

Sophomore guard Jalen Pendleton is finally getting back on track, but said despite the team winning four straight games, they cannot get comfortable.

“It feels pretty good; we can’t be satisfied though,” Pendleton said. “We just got to keep using this as momentum because I mean it’s good to win, especially against Missouri State. That’s a good team. They’re one of the top teams in the league, so it feels good, but we just can’t be satisfied.”

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Hinson said “Where’s Waldo” was the key term used in practice this week. He said his team always needed to know where Missouri State players Jarmar Gulley, Austin Ruder and Ron Mvouika were.

“Our whole scout report today was ‘Where’s Waldo,’” Hinson said. “I know you’re going to laugh but it’s true.”

Missouri State has been without their best player, sophomore guard Marcus Marshall, but Gulley has not had a problem being the leader. Gulley finished with 15 points but only two rebounds.

For the second game in a row, the Salukis shot the ball well from the 3-point line. They were nine of 17 in the win. The Salukis held the Bears to a 38-percent shooting night from the floor and Missouri

State only converted two of their 14 3-point attempts.

Key Salukis were in foul trouble the majority of the game.

Freshmen Sean O’Brien and Bola Olaniyan were each limited in the game. Olaniyan still had five points and seven rebounds in only 15 minutes on the court. With Olaniyan in foul trouble, senior Davante Drinkard saw his minutes rise and he took full advantage of the situation.

Hinson said he is taking an opposite position toward his previous remarks on the team’s performance after the Dec. 17 game against Murray State.

“They’re very coachable; they’re doing exactly what we’re asking them to do,” Hinson said. “I’m proud of them.”

SIU will have its hands full as they attempt to win their fifth- straight game on the road Tuesday at Wichita State University. The Shockers are coming off of an 82-73 win over Northern Iowa Saturday. WSU beat the Salukis 82-67 in SIU’s first conference game of the season Jan. 2 at SIU Arena.

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