Cougars Lose Third Consecutive Contest

Keenan Simmons
Keenan Simmons

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball dropped its third consecutive game Saturday, falling to Missouri Western State 49-44 at Vadalabene Center.

SIUE is now 4-6. Missouri Western improved 2-8.

The Cougars shot just 29.5 percent (13-44) from the field and just 1 -15 (6.7 percent) from three-point range.

"I thought our defense was a little better. Offensively, we're really struggling," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "The thing I told the guys is that the only way you solve offensive struggles to trust teammates to share the ball and drive into traffic to force the issue and you have to get into the gym."

SIUE got out to a quick start and built an eight-point (12-4) lead after a pair of free throws from Jalen Henry with 14:07 to play in the half.

Missouri Western then went on a 21-4 run to take its largest lead of the game (25-16) with a three-pointer by Cole Clearman with 3:27 left before halftime.

"We settled for too many jump shots during that stretch," Harris said.

The Cougars scored the last seven points of the half and Missouri Western led 25-23 at the break.

The second half featured four lead changes and four ties and neither team led by more than four until T.J. Evnas' layup with 13 seconds left put MWSU up 49-44 for the final score.

Jalen Henry led SIUE with 13 points. Keenan Simmons chipped in nine points and added nine rebounds.

Clearman scored a game-high 17 points to lead Missouri Western. Aaron Emmanuel chipped in a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

After a week off for finals, the Cougars, who have won three of their four games this year away from home, begin a three-game road swing next Saturday at Saint Louis. SIUE will then travel to Green Bay and Marquette.

"Those will be three tough games for us," Harris said "This is a competitive group in spirit. I know they haven't shown it consistently. These guys want to be good. It's important to them."

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