SIU drops 64-48 matchup at Loyola

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

Loyola pulled away in the second half as Saluki shots weren’t falling during Thursday’s matchup at Chicago. 

Southern Illinois (8-10, 2-3 MVC) trailed 31-26 at the half after shooting 11-for-27 in the field but only 2-for-12 at the three-point line. 

“We knew going into the game that we were going to have to make some 3-pointers in order to come out of here with a win. That was our game plan,” Saluki head coach Bryan Mullins said. “They really take away the paint, especially with [junior center Cameron] Krutwig in there. We wanted to stretch the floor a little bit, and for the most part I felt we got pretty good looks throughout the game.”

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3-pointers from graduate student Ronnie Suggs Jr., and junior guard Harwin Francois right after halftime brought SIU’s deficit down to four points, but the Salukis failed to make their way back on top from here on out.

“[After those baskets,] we just couldn’t get [the deficit] below six or seven points,” Mullins said. “We had some good looks when we went small, we played with five guards there in the middle of that second half and we had a couple of good looks, but we just couldn’t get one to fall.”

Mullins said Southern’s defense gave up too many driving lanes for Loyola’s guards, who took advantage of this. 

The Ramblers’ rebounding proved to be a strength for them this evening, finishing with 35 total compared to SIU’s 24.

“We’ve got to be able to chase down some of those long rebounds, especially if we’re shooting that amount of 3’s and not making them. There’s got to be some 50/50 balls,” Mullins said.

Senior guard Eric McGill led the Salukis in scoring with 14 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the field while also grabbing four rebounds. 

Saluki freshman Marcus Domask followed with 10 points, eight coming in the first half alone, as well as nine rebounds. 

“[Loyola] did a little bit better at keeping on [Domask] in the second half, but I’ve got to run some more actions for him to get him the ball in scoring positions,” Mullins said.

For the Ramblers, junior guard Tate Hall led on offense with 16 points, and junior guard Keith Clemons added 13. 

“I think we’ve competed these past couple of games on the road. Obviously Bradley and Loyola are at the top of the league,” Mullins said. “We’ve got to be better in the second halves, especially offensively and being able to execute things once teams get a feel for us in that first half.”

Southern’s next matchup will be at home against the Drake University Bulldogs on Jan. 19. Tip-off at Banterra Center is set for 3:00 p.m.

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

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