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This was the very definition of a statement victory.
After Nevada started the game with scoring eight of the game’s first 11 points, SIU roared back to win the game, 74-49.
Three days after senior teammate Matt Shaw dominated Northern Iowa, Randal Falker led the Salukis with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Player of the Game: Tyrone Green. As easy as it would have been to give it to Falker, “Greenie” filled the stat sheet scoring 11 points, dishing out four assists, grabbing three rebounds, all while shooting 3-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.
· Randal Falker dominates the bigs. In a game reminiscent of the 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game, Falker dominated a 7-footer. Up against JaVale McGee for most of the game, Falker used post moves and quickness to outscore and outhustle Nevada’s bigs. '
· Bench Production. Guard Joshua Bone and forward Carlton Fay combined to score 17 of SIU’s 19 bench points. Bone went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line, while Fay added four rebounds to go with his 8 points. It seems that Bone has found his niche coming off the Saluki bench. '
· Saluki D. The Salukis played ‘D’ like the team that had college basketball buzzing in 2007. SIU forced 21 turnovers, limiting Nevada, a school that averages 74.4 points per game, \ to 49 points on 38% shooting from the field. '
· Fans leaving early. At 5:10 p.m., fans were seen starting to leave the SIU Arena and that’s not cool. One would argue that the success of SIU begins with the raucous sixth man. While most of the Dawg Pound stayed for the entire game, there was no excuse to leave early. It’s not like there’s anything better to do in Carbondale, there isn’t much traffic and it’s way too early to get your pre-game on. '
· Marcellus Kemp disappoints. Kemp, who is a projected NBA draft pick, scored six early points for the Wolfpack but only finished with 12 on 5-of-14 shooting. '
· ESPN’S coverage of BracketBuster weekend. I sat through an hour of ESPNEWS and am thoroughly disappointed with its coverage. They lead saying that this weekend is about ‘covering the little schools’ and do not show one BracketBuster highlight until 35 minutes into the set. Shame on ESPN, this is the monster you created—cover it properly! '
Stat of the Day: SIU is living by the three. The Salukis hit eight threes, shooting 44% from beyond the arc.
SIU travels to Peoria, Ill. in search of its third road victory at Bradley University. '