EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Nikola Budalo turned in career highs in points and rebounds Saturday night to lead Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to a come-from-behind 88-73 win over visiting MacMurray in men's basketball at the Vadalabene Center.
Bundalo scored 25 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season and the fourth of his career. Bundalo was 11 of 14 from the floor.
"He was finishing well inside," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "Our guys did a nice job of getting the ball to him."
The Cougars, 1-3, trailed by four (38-34) at halftime and by as much as 10 points in the second half before finding their rhythm.
"We can't seem to ever make things easy," Forrester said. "I give credit to our guys. They never quit. They never gave in."
Trailing 48-38 with 16:05 to play, SIUE went on a 13-2 run following the first media timeout. A lay-up by Cornelius Chatt with 12:08 remaining gave the Cougars their first lead of the second half at 51-50.
"It all started on the defensive end," Forrester said. "When we started to get some stops is when we could make a move."
MacMurray, 0-2, regained the lead at 55-53 on a free throw by Clint Lee with 10:50 to play before the Cougars went on another run.
SIUE rallied for a 28-8 run over the next 6:24 to open up its largest lead of the night at 81-63.
Bundalo was one of four Cougars in double figures. LeShaun Murphy added 15 points, one shy of his career high. Murphy scored 14 of his points in the second half. He also grabbed a career-high six rebounds. Murphy was 5 of 6 from the field.
C.J. McClellan led the way for the Highlanders with 25 points. Jerel Robertson added 20 points and eight rebounds.
The Cougars will next travel to Kansas City to take on UMKC Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.