Daily Egyptian

SIU defeats Colorado State in Mountain West-Missouri Valley conference challenge

By Adam Warfel, Sports reporter

Southern (4-3) defeated Colorado State (4-3) 87-62 in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley conference challenge.

SIU was 3-3 overall in the challenge between the two conferences with their last victory coming last season over San Jose State 76-58.

This meeting marked the first meeting between the teams since 2002, prior to the game the Salukis held a 2-1 record against the Rams.

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This game marked only the second time the Dawgs had played in Fort Collins, Colorado with the last time being a loss in 2001.

Also in this matchup, the Salukis had the opportunity to play against the former Missouri Valley coach Niko Medved who left Drake for Colorado State after last season.

Southern was looking to build off the 79-69 win they had against Tulsa in the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational Tournament.

The Salukis pushed out to a 9-2 lead after a 7-0 scoring run after senior forward Armon Fletcher made a three-pointer.

A three-pointer by the Rams pulled them within four, four minutes in the game making it 11-7 for Southern.

Junior guard Aaron Cook made a layup which pushed the SIU lead out to 15-9 with 14:47 left in the first half.

Cook finished with 15 points and four rebounds for Southern.

An 8-0 run by Colorado State fueled by two three-pointers and a jumper tied the game up at 17-17 in the first half.

A foul by the Rams led to two free throw shots for the Dawgs as senior guard Eric McGill sank one of his two free throws to end the run by Colorado State to make it 18-17.

Colorado State made another three-pointer to give them their largest lead of the night at 26-22 with 10:13 left in the half.

Cook served the alley-oop to Fletcher to put SIU back on top 32-30 with 4:36 left in the first half.

The Rams make a three-pointer to retake the lead but McGill answered with a three-pointer for Southern to retake the lead to make it 37-36.

Cook made the third straight three-pointer by the Dawgs to make their lead 43-40 with 1:03 left in the half.

McGill missed the three-pointer but senior guard Sean Lloyd Jr gets the rebound and put it back up to give SIU the lead 45-40 at halftime.

McGill finished with ten points and seven assists for the Salukis.

Two consecutive turnovers by Southern allowed Colorado State to come within one coming out of halftime to make it 45-44.

Senior center Thik Bol converted on the long two-point jumper to push the SIU lead out to 51-45 six minutes into the second half.

Freshman guard Darius Beane made the three-pointer after a steal by Cook to 57-49 with 11:53 to go in the game.

A layup by McGill and a three-pointer by Lloyd made it 67-53 with less than ten minutes remaining in the game.

After a missed three-pointer by Lloyd and a missed layup by Bol, McGill rebounded it and put it back in to make it 71-56 with 6:09 left in the game.

Fletcher passed it to Cook who made the three-pointer to make it 76-59 with 3:36 left in the game.

A full court pass by McGill led to a dunk by Fletcher to make it 80-64 with 1:50 left in the game.

Fletcher finished with the team lead in points with 20 and the team lead in rebounds with eight.

Cook held the ball as time expired as SIU won 82-67 over Colorado State in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.

Southern will be back in action Saturday as they face Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 2 p.m. in Edwardsville.

Sports reporter Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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