CARBONDALE, Ill. – A season-high four players scored in double figures for the Cougars Wednesday, but it wasn't enough to overcome a hot-shooting SIU Carbondale team. The Salukis downed the Cougars 86-59 Wednesday at SIU Arena.
SIU Carbondale improved to 3-2 with the win. The Cougars have lost three straight and fell to 1-5.
"We have to take it one game at a time and we have to find a way to be better, bottom line," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said.
Senior Jalen Henry collected his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He added two assists, two steals and a block.
"He did some good things," Harris said. "He is playing good basketball. Now he has to be a leader, a voice in our locker room."
"I was glad to see Jaylen McCoy to have success," Harris said. "He's a kid that has worked. He has not had a lot of opportunity to play but he stepped up and he was ready. That's not easy to do so I give him a lot of credit."
Daniel Kinchen scored 12 points.
The Cougars struggled through a slow start, opening the game 0-12 from the field. SIUE connected on just 19 percent (6-31) of its shots in the first half and trailed 35-22 at halftime.
"(SIU Carbondale) did some good things on us defensively," Harris said. "We missed some shots but they did a good job guarding us."
SIU Carbondale used a 66.7 percent shooting performance in the second half to run away with the game. The Salukis were 31-58 (53 percent) for the game from the field and pushed their lead to as many as 41.
"As poorly as we played and as poorly as we shot (in the first half) we were down 13 at halftime," Harris added, "At that point, you have to re-program your mind. We were right there. That's a handful of possessions. You find a way to compete a little harder in the second half and that's a different result."
The Cougars finished 17-58 (29.3 percent) overall including 4-24 (16.7 percent) from three-point range.
Sean Lloyd led SIU Carbondale with 19 points. Kavion Pippen (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Jonathan Wiley (12 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles for the Salukis. Aaron Cook added 13 points and Armon Fletcher scored 11.
Following a day off Thursday, SIUE returns to practice Friday and Saturday ahead of a road game Sunday at Fort Wayne.
"We'll hit it hard on Friday and Saturday," Harris said. "We need to have two really good days of practice and go out there and see what happens."