Chicago State tops Men's Basketball, 88-84

    Mike Balogun scored a career-high 21 points for SIU.

    Mike Balogun scored a career-high 21 points for SIU.
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    Nov. 30, 2013

    By Tom Weber

    Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    CHICAGO, Ill. - Six players scored in double figures for Chicago State in an 88-84 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday -- the program's first win over SIU in 11 tries and the first victory over a Missouri Valley Conference team since beating Northern Iowa in 2002.

    The Cougars (3-4) led virtually the entire game and held off a couple of late runs by the Salukis (2-6). The historic nature of the win was not lost on CSU head coach Tracy Dildy.

    "This was just a great Division I college basketball game and atmosphere," he said. "That's a good program we beat today. When you talk about tradition, it hasn't been long since that program has been going to Sweet 16s."

    Southern Illinois is off to its worst start after eight games since beginning the 1985-86 season at 2-6. Head coach Barry Hinson lamented his team's performance in its third-straight road loss of the season.

    "When you're not very tough, you don't play with a lot of energy and you don't communicate, those are three ingredients for an unsuccessful recipe," he said. "We're not playing very good basketball right now."

    Chicago State scored the first seven points of the game and led by as many as 13 points, 29-16, after Jared Dimakos hit a driving layup with 8:12 remaining in the first half.

    SIU sliced the deficit to three just before halftime, thanks mainly to the sharp shooting of Mike Balogun, who made four 3-pointers in the first half and scored a career-high 21 points in the game. He entered the day averaging 1.9 points and had made only 1-of-11 tries from 3-point range, but converted 5-of-8 against the Cougars.

    "We've said all along that Mike can shoot the three," Hinson said. "That will certainly help us if the other guys try to contribute."

    Desmar Jackson scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, and for a brief moment, put his team ahead, 43-42, on a driving layup with 16:54 to go. The lead was short-lived, though, as Clarke Rosenberg ran off seven-straight points for the Cougars. CSU shot 56 percent in the second half and 51 percent in the game.

    "We didn't guard," Hinson said simply. "We looked like we're standing in concrete the entire second half."

    The Salukis came back to tie the game, 57-57, on a 3-pointer by Balogun at the 9:45 mark, but Quinton PIppen responded with a trey of his own to snuff out the rally. The closest SIU would come thereafter was 64-63 on a three-point play by Jackson with 6:50 remaining.

    "We've watched all their tape and in every game they've had runs," Dildy said. "I'm so proud of the effort and how we withstood the run SIU made. Our guys did not panic and showed a lot of composure, a lot of toughness, a lot of confidence."

    Said Hinson, "We made a couple of runs there, but every time they hit back at us, we wouldn't hit back."

    Southern shot 56 percent from the field and made a season-high seven 3-pointers, but they could never put enough defensive pressure on the Cougars to make them crack.

    "I'm disappointed in our basketball team, I'm disappointed in myself," Hinson said. "When you have a team that's not very tough and doesn't play hard, that's on me."

    After playing six games in 11 days, the Salukis have just two games in the next two weeks. They also expect to return senior forward Bronson Verhines, who has missed the last four games with an ankle sprain.

    "Our schedule wasn't really conducive to start off with a lot of success," Hinson said. "We got ourselves beat up. We don't have a lot of confidence right now. We have a stretch here where we can get a lot of practice."