SIUE Men Claim Perfect Exhibition Season
Published on November 7 2012 6:19 am
Last Updated on November 7 2012 6:19 am
Written by Millie Lange
EDWARDSVILLE -- SIUE men's basketball claimed a perfect exhibition season with a 77-59 victory over MacMurray Tuesday at the Vadalabene Center.
Five players scored in double figures for the Cougars as they now look forward to the season opener Saturday at No. 15-ranked Missouri. Tip-off time is 4 p.m. in Columbia, Mo. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Midwest Plus.
Jerome Jones and Tim Johnson led all scorers against MacMurray with 16 points. Maurice Wiltz pumped in 13 points while Derian Shaffer and Kris Davis added 12 each.
"I think we have guys who can score on any given night and get into double figures," said SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester.
The Cougars forced the ball into the paint, scoring more than half of their points from short range. SIUE outscored MacMurray 40-24 in the paint.
MacMurray looked to counter SIUE from three-point range. Luke Bishop hit four three-pointers and matched center Clayton Whitlock with a team-high 14 points.
"Give MacMurray credit, I thought they played hard and executed offensively and defensively," said Forrester.
IUE held a 30-27 lead at halftime and pulled away with a 17-7 run in the early portion of the second half. The Cougars matched MacMurray's three-point effort with three from Jones, three from Wiltz, and two from Johnson.
The Cougars outrebounded MacMurray 39-28. Forrester said he was pushing his team to run off MacMurray missed shots.
"One of the things we were stressing at halftime was when we rebound the ball, we have to push it. We have to run," he said.
Forrester stressed defense has to become a priority for his team.
"I told our guys I'm not worried about us scoring, I know we can score. The things we have to get better at very quickly are our toughness and our defense," he said.