CARBONDALE, Ill. - Playing without three of its regular players, SIUE dropped an 80-57 decision to SIU Carbondale Monday night at SIU Arena.
The Cougars, 2-7, were without Michael Messer (injury), and Kevin Stineman (illness) the entire game. Mark Yelovich started the game but lasted only 13 minutes in the first half before missing the remainder of the game after aggravating the foot, which was originally injured last season.
"Obviously we didn't have the full team out there," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "All around I thought our guys played hard."
SIUE turned the ball over 18 times leading to 12 Saluki points.
"We did a terrible job taking care of the basketball tonight," Forrester said. "Our turnovers led to too many easy baskets on the other end."
The Salukis, 3-5, outrebounded SIUE 38-32. SIUC grabbed 11 offensive boards. The Salukis outscored SIUE 42-20 in the paint Monday night.
"They held us on the boards," Forrester added.
Kris Davis led the Cougars with 21 points. It is the freshman's second 20-point effort this season. He was 6 of 15 shooting including 3 of 6 from three-point range. Jerome Jones scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the second double-double of his season.
"Kris played extremely well," Forrester said. "Being a freshman playing in this environment and against a team that pressures, he handled it very well."
SIU Carbondale put five players in double figures. The Salukis were led by Diamond Taylor who scored 14. T.J. Lindsay scored 13. Dantiel Daniels added 12. Mamadou Seck and Davante Drinkard each scored 10. Daniels paced SIUC with seven rebounds.
The Cougars are off until beginning Ohio Valley Conference play Dec. 29 at home against Tennessee Tech.
"I wish I had some bodies to give some guys some rest," Forrester said. "Hopefully we can get those guys healthy."