Feb. 8, 2014
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CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois' Anthony Beane scored 13 of his game-high 26 points in the first 8 minutes of the second half to blow open what was a close game early in a 72-54 Salukis win over visiting Missouri State (16-8, 6-6) here Saturday in MVC play.
Desmar Jackson added 11 points for Southern Illinois (10-15, 6-6), which won its fourth in a row.
Jarmar Gulley paced MSU with 15 points, while Devon Thomas scored a career-high 11 before fouling out. Ron Mvouika added 7 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for Missouri State, which had won 9 of the last 10 meetings with SIU.
With the Salukis holding a 29-27 lead at the break, Gulley scored the first point of the second half on a free throw that made it a one-point game 18 seconds into the final stanza. But the floodgates opened from there as Paul Lusk's squad managed just one field goal over the next 13 minutes
"We had the game in a good position to start the second half," Lusk said. "And then it started to crumble. We had some very bad turnovers."
Missouri State finished with 14 turnovers in the game - 7 in each half - and SIU took advantage of every Bears' mishap and mistake at critical points. At the 18:48 mark, Beane turned a 3-point game into 34-29 Saluki lead on a floater up close, and less than a minute later knocked down a 3-pointer after MSU missed a pair of early free throw attempts.
Gulley scored a layup to make it a 37-31 contest with just under 17 minutes remaining, but MSU would go the next 10 minutes without a field goal and converted just 7-of-11 at the line in that span. On the other end, Beane and the Salukis got it rolling with Beane knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and a fade-away 19-footer as the shot clock expired to pace a 23-7 outburst by the home side.
With nine-and-a-half minutes to go, SIU capitalized on a long possession that saw the Bears called for 3 fouls, while a ball stuck on the rim kept possession with the Salukis on the alternating arrow. Beane knocked down a pair of free throws to end the back-breaking possession and made it a 20-point game for the first time.
Southern would build its lead to as many as 23 and finished the second half 6-of-8 from 3-point range while converting 54 percent of its second-half shots. Barry Hinson's squad finished 26-of-54 (.481) from the field and 9-of-17 (.529) from beyond the arc with 10 turnovers and 7 steals.
For their part, Missouri State's reserves kept battling to the end and helped the Bears match SIU on the boards, 34-34 for the game. Gavin Thurman, Mvouika, Bruce Marshall and Emmanuel Addo all scored for the visitors in the final 5 minutes to chip away at the deficit and get the final margin under 20.
Missouri State finished 17-of-45 (.378) from the field - 32 percent in the second half - and 2-of-14 (.143) from long range while converting 18-of-26 (.692) at the line.
In the first half, MSU out-rebounded the Salukis 17-14, but gave up 3 critical 3-pointers, two of which erased one-point Bear leads. After a 6-0 MSU run pushed the visitors ahead 15-13 midway through the half, Sean O'Brien answered with a key trey to give the advantage back to the home club, 16-15. Late in the half, after O'Brien missed the back end of a two-shot free throw opportunity, Thomas snagged the rebound for the Bears and took it coast-to-coast to give MSU a 27-26 edge. But SIU responded quickly on a trey from Beane with 33 seconds left in the stanza to give the Salukis a 29-27 lead at the intermission.
The Bears will return to JQH Arena for four of their next five conference games, starting Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., against Drake. Tickets for the Drake game are available at MissouriStateBears.com/tickets or during regular box office hours at JQH Arena and by phone at (417) 836-7678.