EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Freshman Kris Davis poured in a career-high 25 points Wednesday to lead SIUE men's basketball to an 85-61 win over Robert Morris-Springfield at the Vadalabene Center.
"I will take the win," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "That was our first win of the year, and hopefully we can continue to build on that."
Davis connected on 8 of 11 shots, including 5 of 6 three-point attempts. Jerome Jones recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Derian Shaffer added 13 points and finished with nine rebounds. Freshman Michael Birts chipped in seven points and six boards for the Cougars.
"(Kris) is definitely getting better," Forrester added. "I thought he played within the concept of what we are doing offensively as a team. I was happy with the way he played tonight."
SIUE, 1-4, built its lead to as many as 22 in the first half when Shaffer hit a jumper to make it 31-9 with 10:19 to play before the break. Robert Morris, 4-2, went on a 18-5 run from that point and a three-point basket by Anthony Patton had the SIUE lead down to nine (36-27) with 4:53 to play in the half.
The Cougars called a timeout following the Patton three-pointer and went on a 13-5 run of their own to end the half. SIUE took a 49-33 lead into the break.
"The one thing we stressed all week was to be disciplined on both offense and defense," Forrester said. "I thought we did that to start out the game."
The second half proved a sloppy one for both sides. SIUE turned the ball over eight times during the second half while Robert Morris turned it over nine times in the half. The Eagles closed within 10 63-53 on a layup by Jordan Softley with 8:50 to play in the game.
Softley finished with 10 points and was one of two Eagles in double figures. Trey David paced Robert Morris with 13 points.
The Cougars closed the door with a 22-8 surge over the game's final eight-plus minutes. For the game, SIUE shot 50.8 percent (32-63) from the field, including going 11 for 22 from three-point range. It was the third consecutive game the Cougars have hit 10 or more threes in a game.
SIUE remains home to host Cal State-Fullerton Saturday afternoon. Tip time is 2 p.m.