Salukis fall to Illinois State, continues MVC losing streak

Illinois+State+forward+Milik+Yarbrough+drives+in+the+paint+in+Illinois+State%27s+59-58+win+over+the+Salukis+on+Tuesday%2C+Jan.+15%2C+2019%2C+at+Redbird+Arena+in+Normal%2C+Illinois.
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Salukis fall to Illinois State, continues MVC losing streak

Illinois State forward Milik Yarbrough drives in the paint in Illinois State's 59-58 win over the Salukis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois.

Illinois State forward Milik Yarbrough drives in the paint in Illinois State's 59-58 win over the Salukis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois.

CJ Edwards | The Vidette

Illinois State forward Milik Yarbrough drives in the paint in Illinois State's 59-58 win over the Salukis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois.

CJ Edwards | The Vidette

CJ Edwards | The Vidette

Illinois State forward Milik Yarbrough drives in the paint in Illinois State's 59-58 win over the Salukis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois.

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

Southern (9-9 overall) fell 59-58 to Illinois State (10-8 overall, 3-2 MVC), racking up their third straight conference loss during tonight’s game at Redbird Arena.

SIU was looking to rebound with a win after falling to Valparaiso in their last conference contest.

Illinois State was looking for a win after falling to Loyola in their last conference matchup.

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Prior to the game, the Salukis had a historic 11 game losing streak at Redbird Arena with their last win in Normal in December of 2006.

The Redbirds have done their best so far this season defending their home court with a 7-2 record leading to tonight’s matchup.

Three minutes into the game senior forward Armon Fletcher got on the board first for SIU, but Illinois State responded with a three pointer to keep the game close early.

A jumper by senior guard Sean Lloyd and a three-pointer by Fletcher allowed for Southern to push out to a 7-5 lead with 15:38 left in the game.

After two minutes of not scoring by both teams and multiple turnovers, Fletcher extended the Saluki lead with a three pointer, bringing it to 10-5.

Junior guard Eric McGill pushed the Southern lead out with a three-pointer but senior forward Phil Fayne answered for the Redbirds with a tip-in to make it 13-9.

McGill finished with 10 points and four rebounds for the Salukis

The next three to four minutes had several lead changes with each team answering each other with a shot to pull back ahead as Illinois State led 16-15 with 7:53 left in the first half after a turnover by senior guard Marcus Bartley.

A 10-5 run by the Redbirds opened up the game with the five points for SIU coming from junior guard Aaron Cook.

The Salukis continued their turnover woes in the first half and Illinois State continued to push their lead after two free throws by Fayne extended their lead out to 33-21.

A tip-in by senior center Thik Bol brought Southern within eight at halftime at 35-27, as SIU struggled to hold onto the ball in the first half with 13 turnovers.

After a layup jumper by Fletcher to open the scoring in the second half back to back three pointers by the Redbirds pushed their lead out to 41-29.Senior center Kavion Pippen was called for a technical after pushing Fayne and two made free throws by Illinois State further extended their lead out to 45-29.

Fletcher finished with the team lead in points with 17 and nine rebounds for the Dawgs.

SIU switched to a 2-3 zone which triggered a 5-0 run with a layup by Fletcher and a layup by senior center Thik Bol to cut the Redbird lead to 45-34.

A foul was called on McGill and Illinois State made both of their free throw but two made three-pointers by Bartley pulled the Salukis within nine at 49-40 with 11:36 remaining in the game.

Bartley finished with nine points – all from the second half.

Southern continued to cut into the Redbird lead with a 12-0 run led by four points from Pippen to make it 49-46.

A technical by Fayne seemed to trigger the SIU push as they went on a 19-8 run to help them pull within one at 49-48.

Lloyd made a jumper off an assist by Bartley to give Southern their first lead since the first half at 50-49.

Fayne blocked Fletcher’s shot after Illinois State made one of their two free throws to knot it up, then they made a three-pointer to pull back ahead at 58-55.

Three straight free throws by Southern knotted the score back up for the Salukis, but Fletcher fouled Fayne with five seconds left and he made one of his two free throws to pull ahead 59-58.

Fayne finished with 13 points and eight rebounds for Illinois State.

SIU tried to win the game at the buzzer but a turnover by McGill ended the game, as Southern has now lost 12 straight at Redbird Arena.

Southern (2-3) will be back in action on Sunday at SIU Arena against Bradley (0-4) with tip off set for 3 p.m.

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

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