Strong second half leads Salukis to exhibition win

By Zach Kramer, Sports Reporter

The Southern Illinois Salukis faced off against the Minnesota State Mavericks in an exhibition game Tuesday night.

Senior Eric McGill and freshman Marcus Domsak led the Salukis past the Mavericks in the exhibition game with 17 points each. 

It was the first game for the Salukis’ new head coach Bryan Mullins.

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“I’m pleased with our effort tonight, especially on defense,” Mullins said. “Minnesota State, they go to the NCAA tournament every year. They get picked to win their league every year.”

Mullins said he thought defense and covering the ball helped the Salukis win the game.

“I think offensively we tried to play the right way but we missed layups and we missed postups,” Mullins said.

The Salukis were playing their only exhibition game of the season before the season starts in November.

The first score of the game was by Domask two minutes in, and the Salukis took an early 2-0 lead.

The Salukis were playing good defense with 16 minutes left in the first half as Minnesota State only scored three points, making the score 6-3 for the Salukis. 

The Mavericks took their first lead of the game 9-8 with eight and a half minutes left in the first half with a two point jumper.

The Salukis retook the lead 15-14 on a three pointer by Domask with just under four minutes left in the first half.

“I felt nervous throughout the whole day,” Domask said. “I couldn’t sleep well last night. It was nerve racking but to go out there and see the crowd and then to go to the hoop, the nerves just kind of went away right there.”

The Mavericks had a one point halftime lead as the score was 18-17 at halftime.

The leading scorer going into halftime for the Salukis was Domask with nine points. The Mavericks’ lead scorer had 7 points going into halftime.

Minnesota State scored the first 2 points of the second half as they took a 20-17 lead with just over 19 minutes left in the first half.

The Salukis tied it up 23-23 on two free throws by McGill with just over 17 minutes left in the second half.

Southern Illinois took their first lead of the second half 25-23 thanks to two more free throws by McGill with just over 16 minutes left. 

“I felt like we executed well,” Mcgill said. “They’re a very good team and I feel like we just keyed in on key players. I feel like we executed the defensive scheme well”.

The Salukis went on an eight point scoring run as they took a 31-23 lead with just under 15 minutes left thanks to a basket scored by freshman Lance Jones.

The Salukis took their largest lead of the night 39-26 on two free throws by Domask with just over twelve minutes left. 

The Mavericks were trying to get back in the same as they made it a ten point ball game with just over six minutes left, but SIU scored another basket to stop the momentum. 

The Salukis took their biggest lead of the night 53-39 on a jumper by McGill with just over three minutes left. 

The Salukis ended up winning the game 56-41.

The Salukis’ first game of the year will be November 5 against Illinois Wesleyan University.

Sports reporter Zach Kramer can be reached at [email protected]

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