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.
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.
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.