Southern Illinois Salukis Defeat Missouri State Bears 61-57 at Great Southern Bank Arena

The Southern Illinois Salukis led from start to finish, downing the Missouri State Bears 61-57 at Great Southern Bank Arena in Springfield.

The Salukis went ahead 13-5 with 11:18 left in the opening half on J.D. Muila’s layup.

But the Bears would pull within a point of the lead on several occasions in the half.

When Alston Mason drained a three pointer with 6:32 remaining, the Bears trailed 17-16.

But every time the Bears made a run, SIU had an answer, including Jawaun Newton’s three pointer a half minute after Mason’s trey, giving the Salukis a 20-16 lead.

Bryan Trimble, Jr. kept the Bears close with three treys between the 4:19 and 1:56 marks of the first half, the last one pulling MSU within a point, 26-25.

SIU made two buckets in the last minute and a half of the frame, taking a 30-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

A Jonathan Mogbo slam again got the Bears within a point, 33-32, with 17:30 left in regulation.

The Salukis went on a run, extending their lead to eight, 43-35, when Marcus Domask drained a three pointer with 12:10 remaining.

But the Bears got a big three pointer from Kendle Moore and another one from Chance Moore midway through the second half to make it a 45-42 game.

Southern Illinois took its largest lead of the contest, 53-42, when Lance Jones made a three with 5:51 left in the game.

But Dana Ford’s Bears whittled away, pulling within five when Mogbo slammed the ball home at the 1:24 mark, 59-54.

Kendle Moore gave the home crowd even more momentum when he drained a three with 42 seconds left, pulling the Bears within two at 59-57.

With the crowd of 3,782 making noise, the Bears needed a defensive stand to get the ball back with a chance to tie the game or win it.

But SIU’s Xavier Johnson hit a jumper with 18 seconds left in regulation to put the Salukis ahead by four, 61-57.

Trimble, Jr. missed a shot with four seconds left and the Salukis secured the win.

Mogbo led the Bears with a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Trimble, Jr. added 12 points for MSU.

Jones led four Salukis in double-figure scoring with 11 points, followed by Domask, Johnson and Newton with ten each.

MSU shot 40% for the game, making 21-52 shots from the field, including 8-24 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Salukis shot 45%, knocking down ten three pointers on 26 attempts.

MSU struggled from the free throw line, hitting just seven of 12 attempts.

Missouri State out-rebounded Southern Illinois 36-28.

The Bears drop to 10-10 overall, 6-4 in the Valley (currently in 6th place), while the Salukis are 16-5 overall and in first place in the league with an 8-2 record.

Missouri State will host the University of Illinois-Chicago in a conference game Tuesday night at 7:00 at Great Southern Bank Arena.

That game will be broadcast on 93-3 A-M 560 KWTO.

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