Salukis drop to .500 with 59-58 loss at Illinois State

NORMAL, Ill. – The Southern Illinois men’s basketball team rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but Illinois State’s Phil Fayne hit one of two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining to give the Redbirds a 59-58 win over SIU on Tuesday night at Redbird Arena. 

The Salukis (9-9, 2-3 MVC) committed 13 first-half turnovers, and Illinois State hit eight of its last 10 shots in the first half to take a 35-27 lead into the break. The Redbirds (10-8, 3-2 MVC) took that momentum into the second half and built a 45-29 lead with 16:27 to go. 

Illinois State held a 49-34 lead with 12:55 to go when suddenly the momentum of the game completely flipped. Marcus Bartley hit a 3-pointer to ignite an 18-0 SIU run that gave the Salukis a 52-49 lead. Bartley hit another trey—his third 3-pointer in a 21-2 run—to give SIU a 55-51 lead with 4:25 to play, but SIU would not make a field goal for the remainder of the game. 

“We started defending,” SIU head coach Barry Hinson said. “All of the sudden, we had one segment where we had four stops in a row. On the offensive end, we were sharing the basketball. And quite frankly, we did not turn the ball over in the second half.”

SIU had only five turnovers in the second half and limited Illinois State to 25 percent from the field after intermission. Illinois State responded to SIU’s 21-2 run with a 7-0 run of its own to take a 58-55 lead with 1:42 remaining. Aaron Cook hit a free throw; SIU got a stop; and Eric McGill hit two clutch free throws to tie the game with 33 seconds to play. Illinois State held for the last shot and slipped a pass to Fayne, who hit the second of two free throws to give the Redbirds a 59-58 lead with 5.7 seconds remaining. 

After three timeouts, SIU got the ball in cleanly on the inbounds and passed ahead to Eric McGill going towards the basket, but McGill got caught in the air trying to pass and misfired on a pass as the clock expired.

“We will get better defensively,” Hinson said. “One of the things that will help us from tonight, when we go back and look at the film, is that when you play that hard, you put yourself in a position to win ball games.”

SIU held ISU scoreless for more than six minutes during the momentum-flipping 18-0 run in the middle of the second half. Armon Fletcher led the Salukis with 17 points and nine rebounds. Eric McGill had 10 points.

Southern Illinois has lost three-straight in the MVC after starting league play 2-0. The Salukis are off until Sunday, when Bradley comes to SIU Arena. 

“We go home now for two home games,” Hinson said. “We’re exactly where we were last year; we just have to find a way to turn it.”

RLC softball pre-season clinic sign-ups start

INA, Ill. – High school athletes can sign up now for a spot at Rend Lake College’s Fourth Annual Softball Pre-Season Prospect Clinic at the Rec Center. The clinic will begin with registration at 7 a.m. and instruction at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, 2019.

During the four-hour clinic, athletes will be coached by RLC Softball staff and athletes in a number of topics and drills to prepare them for college-level play. This unique scouting opportunity gives local athletes the chance to been seen before the spring high school season begins.

The cost of the clinic is $35 for individuals or $30 per athlete when registering a team of more than six players. A T-shirt is included in the registration costs.

For more information about the Rec Center, contact Rec Center Director Tyler O’Daniel at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1279, or Spots are limited for the clinic, so those interested should contact O’Daniel to reserve a spot.

The RLC Rec Center provides the community, athletes, and staff with a great place to train and improve their lifestyles. Information about the Rec Center can be found online at or on the Rec Center Facebook page

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Saluki Women fall to Missouri State

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Missouri State Lady Bears (7-7, 3-0 MVC) used a strong second-quarter to defeat the Southern Illinois Salukis, 66-51 Sunday afternoon inside JQH Arena.
The Salukis (8-6, 1-2 MVC) trailed by just five at the end of the first quarter but went cold from the floor in the second quarter. Southern made just 1-of-12 attempts in the period and were outscored 14-4 in the frame. SIU’s offensive struggles allowed Missouri State to build a comfortable 15-point advantage, 29-14, at the end of the first half.
Southern got to within nine, 40-31 with 3:32 to play in the third thanks to a 7-0 run by Nicole Martin<> that included her first three-pointer of the season. That was as close as the Salukis could get though.
“We didn’t stick to our game plan defensively and our frustration on the defensive end led to poor offense where we started rushing and didn’t take good shots,” sixth-year head coach Cindy Stein<> said. “That can’t happen.”
Martin finished with a game-high 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks. It marked the fourth-straight game that Martin has scored in double figures and the 11th time she has done so this season. Makenzie Silvey<> joined Martin in double figures, as she added 10 points and tied her career-best with seven boards in 27 minutes. Abby Brockmeyer<> finished two points shy of a double-double, as she tallied eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Alexa Willard carried the load for the Lady Bears, as she finished with 18 points and three rebounds. Missouri State did much of its damage in the paint and at the charity stripe. The Lady Bears scored 44 of their 66 (66.7%) points in the paint and went 16-of-25 from the free throw line. Southern, conversely, scored 20 points in the paint and went just 5-of-8 from the charity stripe.
“I felt like we fought hard and we competed for the most part,” Stein said. “But its just the little details that we continually have to talk about and we got away from the game plan. We put them on the line 25 times- we talked about from the get-go that we didn’t want to foul them, we wanted to contain them and we wanted to keep them from getting to the paint. (Missouri State) scored 44 points in the paint so we obviously didn’t do that very well.”
SIU did hold Missouri State without a three-pointer, as the Lady Bears were 0-of-3 from behind the arc. It marked the first time since Dec. 30, 2016 that Southern has held an opponent without a three-pointer.
The Salukis return to action on Friday, Jan. 18 when they travel to Bloomington, Ill. to take on the Illinois State Redbirds. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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