Daily Egyptian

Streak snapped: Salukis dominance over Missouri State ends at nine

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Southern Illinois fell 65-59 to Missouri State Bears at JQH Arena during tonight’s matchup in Springfield.

The Salukis (12-12, 5-6 MVC) were looking to extend their win streak out to three after defeating Bradley in Peoria on Saturday. The Bears (12-12, 6-5 MVC) avenged their loss against SIU earlier this season after they had lost to UNI on Saturday, coming in with a three game win streak.

Historically, SIU was looking to push their win streak over Missouri State to ten straight, while the Bears were looking to defend JQH Arena where they have played to an 8-2 record so far this season.

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Junior guard Eric McGill grabbed a rebound after a three point miss by the Bears but Missouri State then forced a turnover which resulted in a layup to give them an early lead.

Two jumpers by senior center Kavion Pippen gave Southern the lead early but a foul by senior forward Armon Fletcher put senior guard Ryan Kreklow at the line where he made both of his free throws to knot it up at 4-4.

Missouri State added a three-pointer and a jumper by Kreklow to push out their lead to five but junior guard Aaron Cook made a three-pointer to trim the Bears lead to two.

Pippen fouled senior guard Josh Webster and he went to the line and made both of his free throws, junior forward Tulio Da Silva added a jumper to push out a 13-7 lead seven minutes into the game.

Senior center Thik Bol ended the two minute scoring drought by the Salukis with a jumper to pull within four at the 12:20 mark of the first half.

Senior guard Sean Lloyd Jr made a jumper and was fouled and he made the free throw shot to pull the Dawgs within one, Pippen made a dunk off an assist by freshman guard Darius Beane to give Southern the 14-13 lead.

The Bears made one of three free throws, a three pointer and senior guard Josh Webster made two consecutive shots, one coming off a turnover by the Salukis to push out a seven point lead.

Missouri State held Southern scoreless for four minutes, until a steal by McGill turned into a layup on the other end as SIU  trailed 21-16.

Lloyd turned the ball over which turned into a jumper on the Bears to push their lead out to eight with 4:27 left in the first half.

Two free throws by Kreklow and a jumper by junior forward Kabir Mohammed, in which he was fouled pushed the Bears lead out to 30-19.

The Bears held the Salukis scoreless for two more minutes until Cook made a 12 foot jumper, but Cook turned the ball over which resulted in a layup by junior guard Tyrik Dixon.

Pippen was fouled and made both of his free throws to pull back within ten, but on the last play of the second half Dixon made a three-pointer to give the Bears the 36-23 lead at halftime.

Lloyd and Pippen scored to open the second half as Southern started to press the Missouri State Bears to cut the lead to nine the first two and a half minutes of the half.

Pippen  had scored eight points only five minutes into the second half to pull Southern within five at 38-33 at the 14:58 mark in the second half.

Da Silva made a jumper and senior guard Marcus Bartley’s fourth foul of the game put Webster at the free throw line where he made one of his two shots to push the Missouri State lead back out to 42-35.

Beane made a jumper , but  a  jumper by Da Silva pushed the lead back out to seven for the Bears, but Lloyd answered with a drive to the bucket to cut the Missouri State lead to 44-39 with 11:39 left in the second half.

McGill made a three-pointer to pull within two, then the Bears and the Salukis took turns turning the ball over for the next minute and Cook made a jumper in which he was fouled but he missed the free throw shot as the score was knotted at 44-44.

Dixon made a jumper to pull the lead back ahead for Missouri State, Lloyd then missed his shot on the other end, but an offensive rebound and put back shot by Pippen knotted the score back up.

Pippen finished with a double-double matching his career high in points with 24 and finishing with ten rebounds.

Pippen’s third foul of the game put Cook of Missouri State at the line where he made one of his two free throws to give the Bears the 50-48 lead with 5:58 left in the game.

Pippen gave the ball to Fletcher, who made the dunk to knot it back up,  A. Cook then stole the ball and made the layup on the other end to give Southern the 52-50 lead.

Cook finished second in points for the Salukis with eleven to go along with one assist and one steal. He missed his free throw shot and then the Bears made a three-pointer and Da Silva made a dunk to push their lead out to 57-52 with 3:14 left in the game.

Dixon made his third three-pointer of the game and then the Bears forced a foul on Fletcher as they led 60-54 with 2:12 left.

The Salukis held the Bears scoreless for just over a minute as jumpers by Fletcher and Pippen and one made free throw by McGill allowed the Dawgs to pull within three.

McGill fouled Da Silva to put him to the line where he made both of his free throws and a foul by Pippen put Webster to the line where he made one of his two free throws as the Bears won 65-59.

Southern will be back in action in Carbondale on Saturday against the Evansville (4-7 MVC) with tip off set for 7pm.

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