Three Saluki Men’s Basketball takeaways from this past week

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

1. Southern is a second half team

In both games this past week, the Salukis trailed at the half. When facing the University of Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Southern was trailing by as many as 21. In the game against Loyola –  they were by 23 points at the half. In both games, SIU was shooting less than 40 percent from the field and turned the ball over 14 times against the Panthers and 11 times against the Ramblers. In the second half of both games the Salukis shot better, in the UNI game they shot 66 percent. In the Loyola game they shot 41.7 percent. In both games, the turnovers decreased in the second half – against UNI, Southern turned the ball over only three times in the second half and against Loyola they turned it over eight times in the second half. That same game, the Ramblers went on a 23-0 run in the first half after SIU was leading 12-7 early and the run dictated the rest of the game.

2. Saluki defense must dictate the offense

In the game against the Panthers on Wednesday it was the Saluki defense that ultimately won the game for Southern. In the 21 point comeback Southern forced 11 steals and had five blocks forcing UNI to turn the ball over 20 times. Those turnovers allowed for Southern to score 21 points. In the game against Loyola, SIU caused 13 turnovers for the Ramblers but also had six blocks and nine steals and Southern turned the turnovers into 12 points.

3. Southern’s offense must pass first

In the Salukis three wins in conference play they averaged 16 assists, in the five losses they averaged only 12.2 assists. When SIU passes the ball around to get to the open man, they have looked their best and it showed in all three of their wins, but Southern had their second lowest assist total in the game against Loyola on Sunday at nine. Spreading the ball around allows for more people to score and for the defense to have to guard more.

The Salukis will be back in action tonight for the annual Black Out cancer game, SIU will match up against Indiana State with tip off set for 8 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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