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Strong Second Half Not Enough to Lift Cougars

Keaton Jackson reaches for a rebound
Keaton Jackson reaches for a rebound

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Five SIUE players scored in double figures, and SIUE outscored Oregon State in the second half Tuesday, but it wasn't enough as the Beavers outlasted the Cougars 101-81 in men's basketball at Gill Coliseum.

Oregon State (3-1) shot 64 percent (32-50) from the field and held a 52-29 halftime advantage. The Beavers forced 11 first half turnovers and turned them into 16 points.

"We did a terrible job as far as digging ourselves a huge hole," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "Our guys did a better job in the second half. We made a few adjustments to break their press.

The Cougars (1-6) did not turn the ball over once during the second half and connected on 45.5 percent (20-44) of their shots, outscoring Oregon State 52-49 over the final 20 minutes.  

"We were being more aggressive with attacking the basket," Forrester said. "We did a better job down the stretch of the first half and through the second half."

Maurice Wiltz scored 16 points to lead SIUE. Donivine Stewart and Keaton Jackson each added 13 points. For Jackson the 13 points marked a career high. Stewart added a game-high seven rebounds.  Rozell Nunn scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Christian Salecich scored 10 points and finished with a career-best nine assists. The Cougars finished with 23 assists, including 14 in the second half. The 23 assists is the second most in a game this season.

"We wanted to win some basketball games while we were getting better," Forrester added. "We got better but didn't get any wins."

Devon Collier scored 20 points and hauled in seven rebounds to lead Oregon State. Angus Brandt scored 19 points and also collected seven boards. Roberto Nelson scored 17 points, including 11 at the free throw line.

The Beavers attempted 38 free throws, connecting on 33. SIUE was 10 of 14 from the free throw line.

Tuesday's game was the last in a four-game road trip for SIUE, which played a three-game tournament at Portland State Friday-Sunday.

"We've been on a road for a week, and played four games in five days," Forrester said. "That's tough on anyone. It's not like any of the games were easy. Our guys had to compete."

The Cougars return home to play host to Texas-Pan American Monday at Vadalabene Center.

"We have seven games under our belts; I expect us to start winning some basketball games," Forrester said. "We're more experienced and more seasoned and we have to come out with wins."

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