Illinois State (16-9, 8-7) was led by
Lorenzo Gordon, who had 13 points and seven rebounds. Also in double
figures for ISU were Gregg Alexander, who had 12 points and a
team-high nine rebounds, and Trey Guidry, who scored 11. Southern
was paced by Jamaal Tatum, who led all scorers with 15. Darren
Brooks had a double-double for Southern with 13 points and 10
Illinois State had
only 11 turnovers to SIU's eight; however, the Salukis did a better
job taking advantage of the miscues, as they held a 17-2 advantage
in points off turnovers.
Southern Illinois (21-6, 12-3)
opened the first half strong, as they took a 9-4 lead after the
first four minutes of play. The Salukis stretched the lead to six
after a Tatum 3 with 15 minutes to go, giving SIU a 12-6 advantage.
The 'Birds kept it close for the next few minutes as the two teams
Redbird head coach Porter Moser was
assessed a technical foul at the 10:12 mark, and Stetson Harriston
made both free throws to push the Saluki lead to six again, at
18-12. Following the technical, the Redbirds came back energized, as
they went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by a Greg Dilligard tip-dunk to
give ISU its first lead, at 19-18 with 8:12 to go. Guidry capped off
the run with a 3 on the next possession, giving ISU a four-point
advantage at 22-18, its biggest lead of the game.
[to top of second column in this article]
The Redbirds struggled the last seven
minutes of the half, though, as SIU outscored Illinois State 12-2 to
take a 30-24 lead into the locker room.
Guidry led ISU in the first half with
nine, while Saluki freshman Matt Shaw paced his squad with eight.
In the second half, the Salukis
scored five points in the first 1:30 to take a 10-point advantage at
35-25. Back-to-back 3s by Nedu Onyeuku and Gregg Alexander trimmed
the lead to three at 37-34 with 14:04 left to go in the game. That
was as close as the 'Birds would get, however, as SIU then went on a
6-0 run to extend the lead to 43-34 at the 12:17 mark. Southern
extended its lead to as many as 11 in the game, but the 'Birds cut
it to five with under a minute to play. Southern made its free
throws down the stretch, however, defeating Illinois State by a
final of 66-59.
The Redbirds will next be in action
on Saturday, when they travel to Green Bay, Wis., to take on the
University of Wisconsin Green-Bay Phoenix in ESPN's Bracket Buster
III. Tip time is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on
[Todd Kober, assistant
athletics director, media relations,
Illinois State University]