EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball said goodbye to five seniors Thursday night but not before one more win. SIUE defeated Hannibal-LaGrange 84-55 at the Vadalabene Center.
The Cougars finish the season at 8-21 overall and 6-8 at home.
"To end on a positive note with a night like this is something special," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said.
In the end, five Cougars scored in double figures led by junior Kevin Stineman's career-high 17 points. Freshman Michael Messer finished with 15 points. Seniors Nikola Bundalo and Cody Rincker each tallied 14 in the win. Junior Corey Wickware finished with 10 points.
Bundalo's 14 points gave him 888 points for his career which is good for 19th on the all-time scoring list. The 14 points tied Rincker's career best. He was 4 for 8 from three-point range.
The game didn't necessarily start the way SIUE would have liked. Hannibal-LaGrange, 8-18, led by as many as seven in the first half. It was a five-point Trojan lead (22-17) when the Cougars took over.
SIUE finished the first half with a 22-1 barrage to take a 39-23 halftime lead.
"We just got off to a little bit of a slow start," Forrester said.
Hannibal-LaGrange never got closer than 13 points in the second half, and SIUE built its lead to as many as 32 after a three-pointer by Rincker with 4:45 to play.
SIUE controlled the glass, outrebounding the Trojans 43-34. The Cougars' bench scored a season-high 48 points. The five players in double figures are the most for the Cougars this season.
Fernando Fernandez led the way for the Trojans. Fernandez score 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Hannibal-LaGrange. Brock Webber added nine in the loss.
Forrester praised his five seniors after the game.
"These young men have done a tremendous job representing this team and this University," Forrester said. "I wanted this night to be special for them because of the sacrifices they have made, the blood, the sweat and tears."