Category: News

Salukis Pull Away in Overtime


by Patrick Codo
The Saluki basketball team hosted their regional rival the Murray State Racers and pulled it off in overtime. The Racers started off the game on a 19-10 run after hitting four threes before Southern ended the half on a 29-18 run to lead the Racers 39-37 at the half. In the second half no lead was safe. When the Saluki’s had a decent lead the Racers marched right back. The Saluki’s lead the racers 66-60 with 5:03 in the game until Murray State went on a 9-2 run to tie the game up at 69. Then Armon Fletcher got an offensive rebound, put the shot in and got fouled so that free made it 72-69. Saluki’s lead 77-74 with five seconds left before Bryce Jones hit’s the game tying 3 to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, Southern lead the whole time but Murray State tied it up once again at 85 with over a minute left in the game. With Seventeen seconds left in the game Southern was able to drain the clock before Sean O’Brien tipped the ball in with eighth tenths of a second left in the game. The Saluki’s came out with the win 89-85. Sean O’Brien was there at the right place at the right time as he stated, “I had to wait for a second to make sure the ball cleared the cylinder.” It was a good move by O’Brien so he would not get called for goaltending. Barry also mentioned that Evansville came to mind when the Racers tied the game. “That’s the first thing that came into my mind, D.J. Balentine hitting the 3 and we didn’t foul, this year we did foul and didn’t get the foul call, and our heads were down and we had to have a big play, I thought we had a huge play, Leo Vincent hits the 3, and I just thought that was huge”. So Southern played the way they wanted to before the end of regulation.
The Racers were 27-70 on field goal attempts overall as Johnathan Stark lead the scoring with 29 points but only 1 rebound. A lot of the Racers point came from the free throw line as the Racers were able to shoot 78.3% from the free throw line. Although shooting 38% overall in field goals that shows how the loss occurred for the Racers.
The Saluki’s were 31 for 61 overall on field goals but 6 for 24 on 3 pointers. Although almost all the starters hit double digits. Mike Rodriguez had 21 points, Sean O’Brien had 15 and 2 of those was the game winner. Leo Vincent had 17 and Armon Fletcher had 16.
The Saluki’s are now 4-3 on the year and will host the Texas Southern Tigers who look like a good road as all their wins came on the road. The Tigers are 4-2 on the year.
The Racers are now 3-4 on the year and will host the Detroit Titans on Saturday at 7 O’clock.

Southern Illinois Football ends 2016 in a Bang


By Patrick Codo

The Southern Illinois Saluki football ended their season by taking down the 23 ranked Western Illinois Leathernecks 44-34 on Senior day. The Salukis had a decent 14-3 lead but 4 killer turnovers resulted in 28 points for the Leathernecks as they took a 31-14 lead into halftime. Then in the second half Southern Illinois went on an amazing 30-3 run to pull off a big win but not just only for the seniors, but also to knock Western Illinois out of the playoffs.
Nick Hill was so happy after the game, here were some of his thought especially for the senior class. Coach Hill stated, “we’ve talked a lot about legacy and what these seniors legacies are,” Hill said. “What their legacy is going to be is a group of guys that bought into the culture of what we’re trying to do here and came to work every single day. Down the stretch, even down 17 in their last game, they found a way to will it and flip the momentum back and get a huge win.” This win marked the biggest comeback since Nick Hill was the quarterback at Southern Illinois and led the Salukis to a 34-31 victory over the Huskies of Northern Illinois.
If you are playing against Western Illinois you cannot sleep on the triple threat of Sean McGuire, Lance Lenoir, and Steve McShane. McGuire completed 21 passes out of 37 pass attempts 337 yards and 3 touchdowns and all those touchdowns came in the second quarter. McQuire threw for two touchdowns, one to Lance Lenoir and he ran one in. However in the 4th quarter the Leatherneck defense gave 172 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. The last touchdown came after McGuire threw an interception and the defense gave up a 54 yard touchdown run. That loss for Western Illinois ended their playoff hopes.

SIU gets win number 1 of 2016


By Patrick Codo

The Southern Illinois men’s basketball team was able to get its first win of the 2016, 2017 season with an 85-64 win over Missouri Southern State. The Salukis were able to pound on the Lions throughout the whole game with their size but the first half was a struggle, as both teams combined for 32 fouls and 24 turnovers. The Salukis were able to hold the Lions to 20 points in the first half. In the second half the Lions cut the deficit to 51-40, but the Salukis had other plans by going on a 27-2 run to put the game away even though Missouri Southern State went on a 14-3 run to end the game.
Coach Hinson challenged his defense at the end to finish but it didn’t work. What Hinson said about that was, “We just gotta figure out how to get stops, guys if we play the last three and a half minutes they went on a 14-3 run to end the game, this is after I challenged those guys at the three-and-a-half-minute mark to finish the game and win the last three minutes and thirty-three seconds, I will never give that speech again to that group it didn’t work, 14-3 run to end the game.” So the Saluki defense will need to step up for the next game.
For the Lions, only three of their players had double digits as Ji Cratit had 17 points. The Lions were 22-61 on field goal attempts and 12-28 on three point shots. The only lead the lions had was a two-point lead after the first 3 of the game was shot by Ji Cratit but they for sure did not see the lead again after that.
The Salukis were able to click on all cylinders as Sean O’Brien led the team scoring with 19 points and had 10 rebounds. Although him and Thik Bol had double double’s as Bol had 10 points and 17 rebounds. O’Brien and the team had some issues in the first half but they were able to clean things up in the second half as he stated, “I think just pushing the ball once we got on transition that helped us out lot I think even it carried over in the second half a little bit, the first five minutes we were sloppy and then we finally started getting stops, rebounds, and just getting out and running”. Those really payed off in the second half.
The Salukis are now 1-2 on the year and will head to Edwardsville to play the Southern Illinois Edwardsville Cougars and looking to get payback on the Cougars after coming into the SIU arena last year and beating the Salukis 76-74. The game will start at 7 o’clock.
The Lions are now 2-1 on the year as they will host William Jewell College on Saturday at 3 o’clock.

Daniel Hartmann’s NFL Week 9 Watchability Rankings


So this a new blog for me. I am going to start ranking the games each week in order of how exciting the game will be to watch. So if all these games were played at the same time, on different channels, these are the order of how I would watch them. Three rules. Number One: Matchups matter. So Offense vs. Defense, Receiver vs. Corner, Left tackle vs. pass rush all matter. Number Two: Star power matters. I’d rather watch a hobbled Russell Wilson than Nick Foles any day. And Number three: Playoff implication matters. Two teams fighting for the playoffs is more fun than two teams fighting for the number one pick. Without further ado, here are the rankings from worst to first.

13) CHIEFS AND JAGUARS-
Blake Bortles is no fun to watch at all. Last year this would have been much better. But this year, the jaguars have turned into the plain garbage time team. They do nothing else all game. Jalen Ramsey turns heads, but still. The Chiefs are getting more fun, but Alex Smith could be slowed, Spencer Ware may not play, and the Chiefs rely on the horizontal pass game a bit too much. Travis Kelce is good, and Marcus Peters could always take one back, but this should be a boring game.

12) BILLS AND SEAHWAKS-
Russell Wilson is hurt. His line sucks. His running game is nonexistent. The only saving graces there are Jimmy Graham doing Jimmy Graham things, and the L.O.B. The Bills are led by Lesean McCoy… who’s hurt. Tyrod Taylor won’t be fun when he gets stopped by Bobby Wagner on every play. Luckily, the Bills defense is getting healthier, and Marcell Dareus is back and beastly. There’s just not enough here to make me interested.

11) JETS AND DOLPHINS-
If this was an unintentional comedy contest, this game would rank much higher. Ryan Fitzpatrick will sail a few throws and get stared down by his receivers. Matt Forte is a guy who thinks he’s a bowling ball, but is actually a pin ball. And all of a sudden, the Jets decide they want to play a top-five defensive tackle at linebacker. Jay Ajayi single handedly pulls this game higher, as does a suddenly impressive Dolphins line, but that’s not enough to make up for the Jets total unwatchability.
10) SAINTS AND 49ERS- If this was the 49ers of a couple years ago, versus the Saints of Drew Brees prime, this would be a lot better. As it is, Colin Kaepernick doesn’t do what he used to, the 49ers defense is just horrible, and the run game gets no push. The Saints have Drew Brees throwing to about 12 different options, and some of them can be exciting. But the defense doesn’t force any turnovers, and the offense commits too many. A win here pushes the Saints back into the playoff conversation, and that’s the only reason this game ranks higher than some of the games below it.

9) LIONS AND VIKINGS-
I wanted to rank this game higher than I did. I really tried and originally I had this game slotted in at number six. The positives? Matthew Stafford is playing extremely well. His receivers are excelling in the possession game. Jim Bob Cooter has a great name. The Vikings defense is scary because of their propensity for turnovers, and because of that it should be able to pin their ears back and get after Stafford in this one too. But something here just feels off. I don’t know whether it’s the stink of the Viking’s offensive line, or the horrible Lions secondary. There’s just an odd feeling that this game is going to fall flat against its high expectations. The playoff seeding race improves the ranking, but not by much.
8) PANTHERS AND RAMS- This game ranks this highly solely because of the star power and positional matchups. Cam Newton. Luke Keuchly. Arron Donald. Todd Gurley. Those names alone will make people tune in. Not to mention those stars play opposite sides of the ball in direct competition with each other. Keuchly will be tasked with slowing up Gurley all afternoon, while Donald is going to be breathing down Newton’s neck from first quarter to fourth. The other intriguing thing is how weaknesses matchup in this game. The Panthers have a poor pass rush, the Rams have a poor line. The Panthers have a bad secondary, the Rams have weak receivers. One team is going to have to make a weakness a strength in this one. If this game had better playoff implications, it would rank above the next game on this list.

7) COWBOYS AND BROWNS-
Cleveland is a lot more fun to watch than people realize. I joined their bandwagon this year even though they’re still winless. Terrelle Pryor is a monster at wide receiver. Duke Johnson and Isiah Crowell are a fun tandem in the backfield. Oh, and Jamie Collins gives them a legitimate difference maker on defense. And the Browns score highly in the unintentional comedy category because of their quarterback situation. The Cowboys are fun because of Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott’s assault on the league in their rookie seasons. The defense doesn’t do much outside of Sean Lee, but the offense makes up for it. This game is dragged down because the Browns are so far out of playoff race.
6) STEELERS AND RAVENS- A rivalry game can only get you so far in these rankings. If Ben Roethlisberger plays and looks healthy, this ranking is going to be low. Landry Jones just doesn’t bring the same kind of fun to a game. There’s that, and the fact that the Ravens are just boring this year. I bet 95% of people outside of Baltimore could not name more than five players on the Ravens excluding Joe Flacco. Mike Wallace can go deep, and Steve Smith is grumpy and mean, so that’s fun. On the other side, Leveon Bell is amazing. Antonio Brown is electric. And Sammie Coates will either drop three passes right off his hands, or catch two 90 yard touchdown passes. There is no in between with him. The Ravens looking to end a losing streak, and both teams fighting for playoff positioning raises this ranking considerably.

5) COLTS AND PACKERS-
This game ranks this high for one reason, and one reason only. The quarterbacks are studs. I mean, I guess you could say that Green Bay has a decent defense. Or maybe that T.Y. Hilton is a stud at receiver. Or maybe even Frank Gore is fun to watch as the slowest running back in the league. But being completely honest, everyone should be hoping this game scores 80 points combined. And it actually might. Three weeks ago, people were worried about bashing Aaron Rodgers for not putting up his typical passing totals. Where are those people now? Rodgers is Green Bay. There’s no one else. The same thing is happening in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck at least has Hilton, but that’s it. His defense might be objectively the worst defense in football. The star power in this game elevates this one to the top five, as does the fact that Green Bay needs a win badly to stay near Dallas in the standings.

4) TITANS AND CHARGERS-
Playoff positioning. Star power. Matchup contrasts. Positional battles. This game has it all. A loss all but assures that the Chargers won’t stay in the playoff picture, while a win keeps them in desperation mode. The Titans are wholly inconsistent, but they are squarely in the race in the AFC South and looking better each week. Star power? Phillip Rivers has to be a dark horse in the MVP conversation. Demarco Murray is front runner for the Comeback Player of the Year. Jatavis Brown and Joey Bosa are near the top of the Defensive Rookie of the Year listings. Plus Melvin Ingram, Marcus Mariots, and Jurrell Casey all bring their massive skillsets to the game. The two teams are extremely different. The Chargers are the high flying offense with the speedy defense. The Titans are ground and pound on offense, and smash-mouth, in-your-face on defense. I wanted to rank this game top three, but the next game on the list edged it because of the potential for rivalry sparks.

3) EAGLES AND GIANTS-
I like this game a lot for both teams. They matchup pretty well on both sides of the ball, and they’re both fighting for playoff positioning this week as well. Fletcher Cox is a monster on the Eagles defensive line, and Brandon Graham is always a threat to lay a monster hit on someone. Same with Rodney Mcleod. On the other side, Ryan Matthews is a jitterbug, and Carson Wentz does rookie things that make watching him interesting. The Giants still have Eli Manning throwing crazy amounts of yards. OBJ is always entertaining, and he has the unintentional comedy category on lock. Plus these two teams just flat out don’t like each other, which makes picking the winner a chore. Both teams are 4-3, and they both need a win to stay in their respective division races. The other games just have better matchups or contrasts for the week.

2) FALCONS AND BUCCANEERS-
Yes, I may be a tad biased in ranking this game so highly. But I’m a sucker for storylines and for offensive shootouts. The Falcons are trying to rid themselves of their past collapses, and improve on their NFC South leading record. The Buccaneers are the team that is consistently on the short side of the stick, and can’t find a way to win. They could easily be 5-2 with a bit more focus. But the main reason to watch this game is the offense. Oh, the offense. Matt Ryan leads the league in passing, while Julio Jones is second in receiving. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman are the best running back tandem in the league when healthy. The Falcons can hang 50 on someone any given day. The Buccaneers counter with the biggest loose cannon in the league. Jameis Winston made a throw two weeks ago that went 70 yards through the air. Granted, it went 10 yards too far, but it was still impressive. Jacquizz Rodgers has decided that he doesn’t want to give up his starting spot. And finally, Mike Evans is back to looking like the stud he was two years ago. If the Buccaneers want to stay semi-close in this one, it’ll be because Evans has a monster game. Either way, it should be a shootout.

1) RAIDERS AND BRONCOS-
This game is by far the best game of the week. It has everything you could want in a football game. The winner of this one keeps first place in the AFC West, and will be the two seed in the AFC. The loser falls to 6-3, and will most likely fall behind Kansas City for third place. The good news is that both teams should be able to pull off a playoff spot at the end of the year. You want a contrast in styles? The Raiders might well have the best offense in the league, the Broncos are statistically and objectively the top defense in the league. The Raiders have no defense, the Broncos have no offense. And the specific player matchups? Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree versus Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. Shane Ray and Von Miller against Donald Penn and Vadal Alexander. Khalil Mack versus Ty Sambraillo. David Carr versus… well okay Trevor Semien. But still. The game is played in prime time, and should provide plenty of sparks and bad blood for a rivalry that is destined to take off and restore the division to its glory days.