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Late surge not enough as Salukis fall at ISU

  • Lance Jones caught fire in the second half against Illinois State on Sunday, but it wasn't enough to halt the Redbirds.

    Lance Jones caught fire in the second half against Illinois State on Sunday, but it wasn't enough to halt the Redbirds.

By Tim McCaughan
updated: 2/3/2023 7:49 AM

Marcus Domask tied a career-high with 32 points, but it wasn't enough as the Southern Illinois men's basketball team dropped a road contest at Illinois State, 72-66, at CEFCU Arena Sunday afternoon -- ending SIU's five-game winning streak.

 The Salukis (17-6, 9-3 MVC) trailed by as many as 12 points at the midway point in the second half before rallying with a 14-2 run to tie the game at 60 with under three minutes remaining. The Redbirds would get a 3-pointer from Senica Knight to go up 63-60 before Lance Jones and Domask traded 3-pointers with Luke Kasubke, knotting things up at 66 with 1:39 left to play.

Illinois State (9-14, 4-8 MVC) would close the game by scoring the final six points to snap a four-game losing skid.

The Redbirds were hot from distance in the final 20 minutes, hitting seven of their 10 3-point attempts. After Southern scored the first basket of the second half, Illinois State reeled off a 9-0 run on three-straight 3-pointers from Kasubke and Malachi Poindexter to push its lead to 45-35 at the 16:48 mark.

Domask led all scorers with 32 on 13-for-25 shooting, to go with six rebounds and four assists. The senior was 6-for-12 from deep and had over half of SIU's 3-pointers in the game. Jones caught fire in the second half, scoring all 15 points to help launch the SIU comeback.

It was all Domask for the Salukis through the first 20 minutes as the forward scored 19 of SIU's 33 points at the break as Southern went into the locker room trailing by three.

Though SIU shot better from the field (50/46) than Illinois State in the first 20 minutes, the Redbirds were able to capitalize on their chances at the free throw line where they converted all 10 attempts while SIU was just 2-for-7 in the opening frame.

The Salukis ended the game shooting 3-for-10 from the charity stripe while Illinois State was 17-for-18, including 7-of-8 in the second half.

Domask finished the first half 8-for-12 from the field including 3-for-5 from deep to go along with a trio of rebounds and two assists. Xavier Johnson put in six points to help the Salukis.

Knight led the Redbirds with 24 points while Kendall Lewis added 18 for ILS.

The Salukis will wrap up their road swing on Wednesday with a trip to Peoria to face Bradley.

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