SIU falls in MVC opener to Indiana State

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

Both Southern Illinois and Indiana State men’s basketball squads opened up their Missouri Valley Conference seasons tonight with a match up in Terre Haute, Ind. 

The Salukis (7-9) were overpowered by the Sycamores (8-4) 68-56 in Southern’s last match up of 2019.

SIU’s loss tonight was their fifth loss in a row on the road, while Indiana State remains undefeated at home.


Tonight’s game was SIU’s first game since their Dec. 21 victory over Southeast Missouri State University. 

In addition to missing senior guard Aaron Cook Jr. for the last seven games due to injury, the Salukis were also down senior guard Eric McGill in tonight’s match up.

Indiana State’s ability to move the ball, resulting in 19 team assists, allowed three players to put up double-digit points.

Junior guard Tyreke Key led Sycamores with 20 points and three rebounds, while  freshman center Tre Williams dropped 14 points to go along with six rebounds.

Freshman guard Jake Laravia added 12 points.

For SIU, graduate student Barret Benson led with a near-double-double performance, totaling 14 points and nine rebounds.

Freshman guard Marcus Domask added 12 points to the Salukis’ offensive efforts, and sophomore guard Harwin Francois chipped in nine.


Southern had an early 4-3 advantage to kick off play, but wasn’t able to regain the lead once Indiana State gained its momentum. 

The Sycamores made a nine-point run early in the game, and for the rest of the half SIU attempted to close the gap.

Headed into halftime, the Salukis found themselves down 36-28, with Domask putting up a layup in the last few seconds to keep Southern’s deficit under 10 points.

Domask had nine points at the half, while Benson led SIU’s offensive efforts with 10.

Indiana State out-rebounded and out-assisted the Salukis in the first half, grabbing 18 rebounds to Southern’s 14 and tallying 10 assists to Southern’s five.

Key led the Sycamores’ offense with 10 points at the half.

ISU looked to put the game away in the first several minutes of the second half, making an 11-point run unanswered by SIU.

With eight minutes left of play Southern decreased its deficit to just 10 points, but another run from the Sycamores, including seven points from Key and two from Williams, stifled SIU’s efforts to get back in the game.

Southern Illinois returns to their home floor on Jan. 4 for a matchup against the Illinois State Redbirds. 

Tipoff is set for 3 P.M. following a concert performance by Tucker Kuhnert Band at 1:30 P.M.


Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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