EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Three Cougars scored in double figures Thursday night as SIUE men's basketball closed out its exhibition schedule with a 69-55 win over MacMurray at the Vadalabene Center.
"I was happy with the win but not with the effort," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said.
SIUE won both of its exhibition games and will open the regular season Monday night at Illinois. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. The game is the first for both teams in the Cancun Challenge.
"We have a quick turnaround here on Monday, and we're playing a good team at Illinois," Forrester added. "And then we turn around and play Illinois State. I wish we were a lot further along."
Jerome Jones led all scorers with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Jones averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds over the two exhibition wins. Mark Yelovich, who was injured in last season's regular season opener, returned to the floor for the first time in nearly a year to score 17 points and add seven rebounds. Corey Wickware added 11 points for SIUE.
"(Jerome) is doing what I thought he could do which is put some puts on the board for us," Forrester said. "He had 14 rebounds, but I'd like him to go get some tough ones."
SIUE fell behind in the game's opening minutes but quickly rebounded. A three-point basket by Jones put SIUE on top 12-9 with 14:34 to play in the first half and the Cougars never trailed again. SIUE led by 10 at half, 35-25, and stretched the lead to as many as 20 late in the second half. SIUE outrebounded MacMurray 39-28.
Brady Slagle led the Highlanders with 10 points and six rebounds. Cole Busch added nine.