Daily Egyptian

Saluki comeback falls short as they suffer first conference loss at Drake

By Adam Warfel, Sport Editor

The Salukis (9-7, 2-1 MVC) fell 82-70 to the Drake Bulldogs (12-4, 1-2 MVC) for their first conference loss of the season.

Southern had entered the game with two wins to open conference play over Missouri State and the University of Northern Iowa.

Over the last two seasons, the Dawgs and Drake have split the games with the victories coming on the road last year.

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Southern leads the Bulldogs with an all-time record of 58-34.

SIU was coming off it’s best defensive effort in conference play since February 25th, 2009 against Drake as they held UNI 31.5 percent field goal shooting on Saturday.

The Salukis were looking for their first 3-0 start in the MVC for the since the 2015-2016 season.

This game marked the end of senior forward Armon Fletcher’s suspension for violation of team policy.

Drake ran off to a quick 10-0 start against Southern as senior forward Nick McGlynn led the way with seven points.

McGlynn finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds and 19 points for the Bulldogs.

Senior center Kavion Pippen scored first for Southern to end the run by the Bulldogs as the Salukis trailed 10-2.

After a dunk by Pippen, McGlynn was fouled and he made one of two free throws as Southern trailed 15-7 at the 12 minute mark of the half.

Drake took their biggest lead after making a three-pointer but Fletcher got the layup to make it 20-9.

An assist and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Noah Thomas extended the Bulldog lead to 27-9.

A layup by Fletcher pulled the Salukis within 20 but Drake responded with back to back three pointers to push it out to 43-17 with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

A three-pointer by junior guard Aaron Cook and a jumper by Fletcher ended the scoring in the first half as the Salukis trailed 43-22 at halftime.

After a three-pointer by Drake to open the second half, Pippen picks up a layup to make it 46-24 early.

Fletcher made a layup off an assist by Pippen and the Bulldogs turned it over which resulted in a dunk by junior guard Eric McGill, making the score 51-32.

Fletcher finished with two assists and 21 points in his return back from his suspension for the Dawgs

Pippen blocked a shot by Drake and McGill made the three-pointer in transition to pull within 54-37.

Thomas made a layup and was fouled and made his free throw shot, but McGill responded with a three-point play of his own as Southern trailed 57-40.

Thomas finished with a career high 24 points and four assists.

Fletcher was fouled on a drive to the basket and he made one of his two free throws as SIU made it 61-44.

Southern went on a 10-4 run led by two baskets by freshmen guard Darius Beane as the Dawgs pulled within ten to make it 67-57 with 8:38 remaining in the game.

Beane made one of his two free throws and a fade away jumper by Fletcher pulled Southern back within ten at 72-62 with 4:50 remaining.

Drake made one of two free throws and Pippen made the short jumper and made it 75-64 with 3:16 remaining in the game.

The Bulldogs made a three-pointer but McGill made both of his free throws to keep the Bulldog lead at 78-68.

McGill finished with 17 points and the team lead with six rebounds.

Drake made four straight free throws but a layup by Beane kept it within 12 with 43 seconds left in the game.

The Saluki comeback fell short as they lose to Drake 82-70 after losing by 26 points early in the game.

Southern (2-1) will be at home Saturday against the Valparaiso Crusaders (3-0) with tip off set for 3 p.m. at SIU Arena.

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

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