Three Salukis combine 62 points, seal 79-57 win over Indiana State Sycamores

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Saluki Men’s Basketball Team swept the Indiana State Sycamores, 79-57, during their road trip game Saturday.

Three players combined for 62 of Southern’s 79 points to come out with the win over their opponents. SIU leads Indiana State in the all time series 87-47 and holds a seven game win streak over the Sycamores.

During their last meeting in January, Southern defeated ISU 88-72 to earn their sixth home win of the season. In the game, senior guard Armon Fletcher posted a 34 point game – the most points in a single game by an MVC player this year.

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This morning’s game tipped off at 11 a.m., but this early start seemed to be no challenge for the Dawgs as they got off to a great start going on a 6-2 scoring run on the Sycamores to take an early lead.

In this run we saw two layups from Fletcher, two from senior center Kavion Pippen, a three pointer from senior guard Sean Lloyd and a layup from senior center Thik Bol.

Southern (13-13, MVC 6-7) continued to hold a commanding lead over Indiana State (13-12, MVC 5-8) and a layup from Pippen extended the score to 22-8.

Indiana guard Cooper Neese hit two three pointers for the Sycamores, but this was not enough to stop the SIU charge.

Neese lead the Sycamore in points with 14 and rebounds with five.

Lloyd and freshman guard Darius Beane hit two back-to-back three pointers to silence the opposing team’s crowd and make the score 30-14.

Another jumper by Neese brought the ISU score just outside of 20 as they struggled to score against the Saluki defense.

A turnover and foul by senior guard Marcus Bartley pushed the Sycamore score to 21 points, but even this couldn’t cut the Southern lead down.

Fletcher came in as Bartley’s replacement and immediately got to the basket to score a quick layup to give his tenth point of the half.

This layup was followed by another from senior guard Eric McGill and the SIU score hit 40.

With just over a minute remaining in the first half, three Salukis had scored within the double figures and the Dawgs held a commanding 40-23 lead.

The half ended with two Indiana baskets included a buzzer beater three pointer by junior guard Jordan Barnes as time expired to cut the Southern lead to 40-28.

Pippen and Fletcher had ten points each at the half, while Lloyd had 11.

Barnes opened second half scoring with another three pointer to bring the Saluki lead down to just nine points.

Fletcher responded to this by scoring on two straight possessions to notch his 15th point, but the Indiana offense continued press against SIU.

The Sycamores went on a 4-1 scoring run to bring new totals to 49-40.

An Indiana foul sent Fletcher to the line where he made two free-throws continuing to push the Dawgs ahead.

Defense was the key in this afternoon’s match up as the Salukis held their opponents scoreless for the next two minutes of the game while scoring two baskets of their own. During this time Fletcher hit a three pointer to score his 20th point of the game.

Fletcher ended the game one rebound shy of a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

Neese broke the scoring drought for ISU with a single free-throw after being fouled by SIU’s Aaron Cook. This was followed by another Sycamore free-throw brought the score to 56-44.

With just over six minutes left in the final half, the Salukis scored three straight baskets to Indiana’s one. Two of the three came from Pippen, on two assists from McGill, to bring his individual total to 21 points.

In the final minutes of the game, Southern continued to extend their lead and got to the fouls line twice in a row. Both pairs of throws were shot by Lloyd and he notched his 21st point of the game.

Lloyd went on to finish with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Time wound down and the starters were substituted out of the game as the Dawgs were up 73-51.

While ISU scored the final bucket of the game, the SIU bench scored six points to seal the 79-57 win over the Sycamores.

The Salukis will return to Indiana this Wednesday to take on the Valparaiso University Crusaders. Tip off is set for 7 pm.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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