The SIU men's basketball team set a few records during its recent series at Terre Haute against Indiana State. Unfortunately, one of them was a record head coach Bryan Mullins would rather forget about.
SIU dropped another two away games (now 7-5 overall), this time to the mid-level Sycamores. Mullins, in his post game remarks, referred to the Trees as "one of the top three MVC teams."
SIU lost two (69-66 and 71-59) games, giving the Salukis a five-game losing streak. SIU basketball hasn't had a five-game losing situation since the Barry Hinson era in 2015. That's a record of sorts, I guess.
The Dawgs fought hard but just couldn't get over the loss of star guard Marcus Domask. No, you can't blame Mr. COVID for that personnel loss. Domask injured his foot and is in a walking boot, rolling himself around on a medical scooter for at least one more week.
Without Domask, SIU played like a boat without a decent oar. The Salukis looked good occasionally but went into deep offensive and defensive funks in both games without Domask's shot-making ability and leadership. In fact, SIU played well in the first halves of both losses, leading by as much as six in the first 20 minutes of their 71-59 loss -- and trailing by only two points at the halftime break in the other one.
For some reason, the Dawgs couldn't spit in the ocean shot-wise in the first 16 minutes of that second game. They only had five baskets of any kind during that first 16 as the Trees pushed their advantage to 16 points.
The biggest brick throwers were SIU's guards. They were an atrocious 11 of 40 from the field in the Dawgs' second loss of the week, after doing quite well in their 69-66 squeaker loss in last Sunday's contest.
For example, SIU guard Lance Jones, who had led all scorers in the first of the two losses with 25 points, only had 10 in the second loss. Guard Trent Brown had 10 points, but most of his came late when the game was decided. Overall, SIU shot 38 percent from the field in the 71-59 loss after hitting 48 percent of their shots in the 69-66 defeat.
SIU meets UNI tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Banterra Center in Carbondale. It will be broadcast on the MVC Network. The second game is this Sunday at 5 p.m. It will be covered on ESPN2.