Salukis fall at ISU (again) - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Salukis fall at ISU (again)

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NORMAL -- Redbird Arena may have replaced Northern Iowa's McLeod Center as the SIU Salukis' house of horrors.

Tuesday was more like roller coaster ride, but the end result was familiar for the Dawgs--a loss on the road to Illinois State.

SIU did get off to a good start behind eight early points from Armon Fletcher, but it didn't last.  The Redbirds seized control midway through the half and took a 35-27 lead into the locker room at the break.

ISU came out and extended that lead to 16 before the first media timeout in the second half.

The Salukis answered in a big way with defensive stops and Marcus Bartley.  Bartley hit three three-pointers during a 21-2 run over an eight and a half span that ended with the Dawgs leading 55-51 with 4:25 to play.

Illinois State answered with seven straight points, including Keyshawn Evans' go ahead three-pointer with 1:42 to play.  SIU hit three of four from the free throw line over their next two possessions to tie the game again at 58.

Phil Fayne was fouled with 5.7 seconds left.  The Redbird senior missed the first free throw but managed to get a friendly bounce on the second to put ISU up 59-58.

After each team called a timeout, SIU had a chance to win, but never even got a potential game-winning shot in the air.  Eric McGill's pass wound up in the back court as time expired, sealing the Redbird win.  

Fletcher finished with a game high 17 points, but it wasn't enough to get SIU its first win in Normal since 2006.

The Salukis fall to 9-9 (2-3).  They will return home Sunday to face Bradley.  

With the win, Illinois State improves to 10-8 (3-2).  The Redbirds now trail Valparaiso and Loyola by a game, after the Ramblers beat the  Cruaders 71-54 in Chicago.

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