By: David Bell
The Saluki women, 5th in the conference, hosted the Drake Bulldogs, 1st in the conference, for an inter-conference match up. Drake opened up the scoring with a quick two but Southern answered back with a 3 to take the lead. Drake would come back however to take the lead at the end of the 1st quarter with a score of 16-13. Southern answered back in the second quarter to take and hold the lead at the half ending the half with a three point buzzer beater by Kristen Nelson to take a 35-31 point lead. The Bulldogs’ star forward Lizzy Wendell was held to 10 points in the first half to lead all scorers. Kim Nebo of the Salukis would lead her team with 5 points in the half. In the 3rd quarter Drake came back to tie the game by the end of it at 50 for each side. Once the fourth quarter came around Southern simply couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs scoring. The Bulldogs would take their largest lead of the night, 16, and it was simply too much for southern to overcome as they fell 71-60 to end the night.
The Bulldogs keep their spot at 1st in the conference and bring their winning streak in the conference to 10 straight. Southern falls to 4-6 in the conference and 10-11 on the year. After the game Rishonda Napier said “we played really well for 32 minutes,” and attributed their struggles in the 4th quarter to “lapses in communication.” Cindy Stein, head coach of the Salukis, attributed the success for the first three quarters by saying she “felt if the game was ugly we had a chance.” However in the end, once both Stein and Napier admit the Salukis lost their confidence, the women were missing one key factor that they would need to continue on. Coach Stein put it best when she stated “leadership has got to come in.”
By: Matt Schneider
On a night that SIU celebrated inducting six members into the Hall of Fame they faced the Missouri State Bears. The Bears came into Carbondale with a record of 14-8 and are coming off a close game at home against Drake where they lost in overtime 71-72. Southern Illinois came into Saturday night’s contest on a three game losing streak and most recently was embarrassed by in Wichita State 45-87. This was also a big contest since SIU head coach Barry Hinson was the former coach at Missouri State and Missouri State head coach Paul Lusk was a player at SIU.
The story in the first half was how Missouri State just could not miss a shot. The Bears shot 17-27 from the field for 63 percent and were 4-9 from behind the three-point line. The Salukis struggled in the first half only shooting 46 percent and were unable to make anything from behind the three-point line. Southern Illinois was able to weather the storm of shooting from the Bears that helped put them up 40-28 heading to halftime.
Sean O’Brien said after the game that the talk at halftime was all about defense and that showed right away. SIU stormed out of the half on an 8-0 run before Missouri State called a timeout. Missouri State had a tough time scoring. They were 10-29 in the second half for only 35 percent. Sean Lloyd hit a three to give SIU the lead 53-51. After that SIU only lost the lead once but regained it on the next possession on a Sean Lloyd three. Jarrid Rhodes hit a three to tie the game at 69 with 13.6 seconds in regulation. Mike Rodriguez missed a jumper and Leo Vincent missed the tip in right before the buzzer.
In overtime SIU got off to a fast start by getting out to a four-point lead. SIU was forced to make free throws and they did. In overtime they were 8-10 from the line and Lloyd was able to knock down four foul shots to essentially ice the game. Alize Johnson knocked down a half-court shot with .4 seconds on the clock to make it a 1-point game but it wasn’t enough as SIU won a great game in front of a great crowd 85-84.
Even though Missouri State scored 25 bench points to only ten for SIU. SIU was not only able to get to the line but also make those shots. They attempted 26 free throws and made 19. Missouri State went to line only 15 times and made 13 of them. SIU coach Barry Hinson said that “this game was huge for us. This was essentially a must win to stay in the top half of the MVC.” Hinson also said that this was one of O’Brien’s best games ever. O’Brien finished with 24 points nine rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes. Sean Lloyd finished with 15 points. Armon Fletcher had a double-double with ten points and eleven rebounds. Thik Bol and Mike Rodriguez also had double digits in points. Alize Johnson led the Bears with 26 points and was 4-6 for three. Missouri State fell to 14-9 overall and 5-5 in conference play. SIU is now 12-11 and 5-5 in the MVC. SIU will play Bradley on Wednesday at home. Bradley comes into Carbondale 8-15. You can listen to the game on WIDB.net The Revolution starting at 7 pm.
by Peter Bobrinskoy
The Chicago Bears have finished the 2016 season with a 3-13 record and now look in to an offseason that faces many questions. Bears fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic and pessimistic when they ask themselves if the Bears front office can finally get it together and show the improvement needed for a playoff run in 2017. This the complete guide of reasons why the Bears will either improve next year or continue to be the irrelevant franchise they find themselves in today. Are better days ahead?
Reasons to be optimistic
• The Bears had an NFL leading 19 players on the Injured Reserve list by the end of the season. No team that loses 19 players has a chance to compete at a high level in the NFL. It is not likely that the Bears will lose 19 players in the 2017 season. This is a big “if” but “if” the Bears can get Kyle Long, Kyle Fuller, Danny Trevathan, Kevin Miller, Eddie Goldman, and Lamar Houston to come back fully healthy and be as good as they were before they their injuries, then the Bears will be in much better shape.
• Jordan Howard. Jordan Howard was a tank this season who broke the Bears rookie rushing record that was held by Matt Forte. He finished second in the NFL in rushing this season with 1,313 yards behind only Ezekiel Elliott. If the Bears running game does not take a step back next season, which it shouldn’t with Kyle Long and Hronis Grasu coming back, then the Bears offense will be somewhat competent.
• The Bears have the 3rd overall draft pick in the NFL draft and have not had a draft pick this high since 1972 where they picked Lionel Antoine out of Southern Illinois. A chance of a high octane playmaker is something the Bears could use for many years to come with this pick.
Reasons to be pessimistic
• Ryan Pace is still the General Manager of this team. Ryan Pace has not shown enough in his first two seasons as the Bears GM to show fans that he is the right man for this job and that better days are ahead. His biggest problem is that he is making the same mistake that previous Bears General Managers’ Jerry Angelo and Phil Emery made. And that is his reliance on Free Agency and not putting all of the Bears chips in the NFL Draft basket. Unlike the Seahawks, the Patriots, the Packers, the Steelers, the Ravens, and the Chiefs who all stay out of free agency for the most part in order to gain compensation draft picks, Pace has shown us that his approach is to be more similar to the Jets, the Redskins, and the Eagles’ front offices where he thinks he can be consistent by trying to buy success with the signing of other teams’ players.
• The lack of stability at the quarterback position. Jay Cutler will most likely be traded or cut this offseason due to the guaranteed money on his contract expiring and the fact that if the Bears release him, it will only be a $2 million hit on the Bears salary cap. So the Bears are back to trying to find that franchise quarterback they have not had since Sid Luckman.
• This team looks a lot like the 2015 San Diego Chargers. The 2015 San Diego Chargers were in the exact same spot as the 2016 Chicago Bears. The 2015 Chargers were crushed by injuries, lost so many close games that they blew late in the 4th quarter, received the 3rd pick in the Draft, and it resulted in a 5-11 season this year which resulted in Head Coach Mike McCoy being fired. Their situation last year is way too similar to the Bears right now.
• Chairman George McCaskey said today on ESPN 1000 Waddle and Silvy that he has no intention of ever selling the team.
• With John Fox on the hot seat, it will be hard for him to find top level position coaches for the Bears due to the uncertainty that he could be fired at the end of next season. These position coaches have family’s and big commitments. So the possibility of them along with John Fox being fired after one season if the Bears do not make significant progress may not sound that great to them.
So here we are. Ryan Pace has an essential offseason on his hands with many questions. What will he do with Cutler? Will he trade back in the draft? Will he mistakenly give in to free agency again? Will he finally draft a quarterback? It is going to be very interesting to see the route Pace takes while trying to rebuild this team and get it back to relevancy.
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.