Jeff Early led SIU with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Nov. 20, 2012
By Tom Weber
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Southern Illinois improved to 5-0 all-time against its sister school, SIUE, with a 71-55 victory in a rare road trip to the Edwardsville branch of the University system.
It was a feisty contest between two schools separated by 100 miles and one letter in their names. With 6:16 remaining in the contest, play was stopped due to a scuffle under the SIUE basket.
Officials spent 20 minutes reviewing the video and ejected three players on the floor for committing flagrant fouls, plus four Edwardsville players who left the bench to join the melee. No punches appeared to be thrown. The players involved on the floor were Jerome Jones and Ray Lester of SIUE and Antonio Bryer of SIU.
Down by 15 points at the time, SIUE head coach Lennox Forrester acknowledged his team lost its composure.
"From our standpoint, it's a big game, maybe not so for Carbondale," he said. "Here you are, the so-called sister school trying to make a name for yourself. Every time you hear SIU, everyone thinks of the Salukis."
For a brief time in the second half, the Cougars (1-2) appeared poised to pull off the upset. They rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to take a 42-40 lead on a layup by Derian Shaffer. Their zone defense rattled the Salukis (3-0).
"We told our players all week long, we're going to score on them in our man and then they're going to go to zone," said Saluki head coach Barry Hinson. "It seemed like forever, but it took us about 7-8 minutes to figure it out."
Point guard Kendal Brown-Surles, who finished with 15 points, drained a 3-point shot that started a decisive 26-5 Saluki run.
"(Kendal) stepped up and made a big shot for us and it ignited the bench," Hinson said.
"I told our players this is good for us, this is what we need. We need to see if we can respond to this challenge. From that point on, we were pretty efficient."
The game was a coming-out party for true freshman guard Anthony Beane, Jr., who showed off an array of offensive moves around the basket to score 15 points. Jeff Early (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Desmar Jackson (12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals) both posted double-doubles.
The Salukis continue to be a potent team in transition with 14 fast-break points on the night.
SIU held SIUE to 35 percent shooting from the field, including a frigid 1-for-13 from 3-point range.
"I thought we did a poor job attacking (the zone)," Forrester said. "We never got the ball inside-out like we talked about and worked on. I thought our guards were very poor tonight."
The Salukis are 3-0 for the first time since 2007 and have their longest winning streak since a six-game win streak ended in January of 2010 -- a span of 84 games.
"I'm a realist," Hinson said. "We're not very good, but you know what, we're 3-0 and tricking a lot of people right now, I guess."