CARBONDALE – Southern Illinois hit a season-high 17 shots from behind the arc en route to an 86-63 victory over Northern Iowa Wednesday night at Banterra Center.
“I’m proud of our guys for coming out after a tough loss last time out and coming out and really playing a full 40 minutes,” head coach Bryan Mullins said postgame. “I thought the ball was moving really well on offense and the guys were giving up good shots to get great shots. I thought we had a good bounce to their step, and I thought defensively in the first half we were able to bother them with our pressure.”
It was a Senior Night to remember for the Salukis as Lance Jones scored a game-high 28 points. Marcus Domask dropped in 24, and Trent Brown added 11 points as the Salukis improved to 21-9 overall and 13-6 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Mullins continued: “I’m happy for the seniors to play the way they did and for the group. It was good to see a lot of emotion and passion on those faces. We have to build off this and continue to play well – with a big game coming up this weekend.”
Southern jumped out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back, taking a 34-23 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Salukis won the battle on the boards 34-28. Southern let it rain in the second half, connecting on 9-of-15 from deep and 9-of-10 at the charity stripe, pushing their lead to 25 points in the final minutes.
“It’s been a tough 48 hours for him (Lance). Just talking to him and making sure he was okay and that he was ready to go,” Mullins said. “Monday was one of the better practices that he’s had in a long time and today he was ready at shootaround, ready for the game and I’m just really happy for him and his family.”
The Evanston native was lethal from the field, finishing with a season-high 28 points – just three points shy of a career-high. Jones was 11-for-14 from the field and 5-for-8 from deep while also dishing out four assists.
“He (Lance) played one of his best games probably in this jersey,” Mullins noted. “He was decisive – pass, catch or shoot., and he made some great passes when he got to the paint and I’m just really happy for him.”
Domask dominated every facet of the game for the Salukis, showing out in his final home game of the season. He scored 24 points on 7-for-12 shooting while tying a career-high with six 3-pointers in the game.
The duo combined to score 33 of the Salukis’ 52 points in the second half as Southern led wire-to-wire.
Brown knocked down three 3-pointers in the game – the most the senior has hit in a game since the Chicago State game in December.
The Salukis shot 57.7 percent (30-for-52) in the game and 58.6 percent (17-for-29) from behind the arc, while holding UNI to 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field.
Tytan Anderson led the Panthers (13-16, 9-10 MVC) with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting while Landon Wolf added 17 for UNI.
The Salukis will wrap up the regular season on Sunday with a trip to UIC. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. in Chicago.
Tim McCaughan, SIU Sports Communications
A 2014 Southern Illinois graduate, Tim McCaughan joined Saluki Athletics in August 2022 and is the primary contact for SIU basketball and baseball.
He spent the previous six years at Indiana State as assistant director of athletic communications serving as the primary sport contact for several Sycamore programs, most recently with Sycamore basketball, cross country, golf, spirit squad while also serving as a member of the ISU Hall of Fame committee. He spent five years working with the Sycamore baseball program -- promoting the team during a pair of NCAA postseason appearances, three years as the primary football contact while spending his first two years in Terre Haute working with ISU’s volleyball and women’s basketball programs.
He has promoted student-athletes and coaches to several postseason awards during his time at Indiana State, most notably linebacker Jonas Griffith, who earned six All-American honors during his career as well as Ryan Boyle who was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year. He also saw Sycamore head football coach Curt Mallory be named the MVFC Coach of the Year as well as a finalist for the STATS FCS Eddie Robinson award, which honors the National Coach of the Year. McCaughan played a role in the first Academic All-American award for Indiana State baseball since 2009 when catcher Max Wright earned the honor following the 2019 season as well as promoting Geremy Guerrero to a program-record five All-American honors during the 2021 baseball season.
McCaughan covered a nationally ranked Sycamore baseball team in 2019 that picked up its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance after securing the No. 2 seed at the Nashville Regional following a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship -- the first in over 20 years for the program. After knocking off both McNeese and Ohio State, the Sycamores advanced to the regional final against No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt, falling to the eventual National Champion Commodores. He also promoted the MVC Newcomer of the Year in Collin Liberatore as well as the League’s Defensive Player of the Year in Jake Means.