SIUE Men Score Big Win; EIU Drops Contest

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Published on February 15 2013 2:09 pm
Last Updated on February 15 2013 2:10 pm
Written by Millie Lange

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball scored its biggest win as an NCAA Division I program Thursday, downing Murray State 65-60 in front of 2,103 at Vadalabene Center.

"All wins are big, but this one is sweet," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "Murray State is the cream of the crop in our conference, and for our guys to play their hearts out and stay together against them is great."

The Cougars used a balance scoring effort to improve to 5-7 in the OVC and move into a second-place tie with Southeast Missouri. SIUE is now 9-13 overall.

"We stuck to the game plan, played as a team, and made hustle plays," Forrester added. "Our guys played extremely well to put themselves in a position to win the game."

All seven players to appear in the game scored at least seven points. Five players scored at least nine points. And three players scored in double figures. Mark Yelovich and Kris Davis each scored 11 points to pace the attack. Derian Shaffer added 10 points.

Michael Messer came within a point of his first career double-double. The sophomore finished with nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Tim Johnson scored nine points and hauled in a career-high seven rebounds. Charles Joy turned a career-high eight points. Ray Lester added seven points and five rebounds.

Jerome Jones Suspended

SIUE men's basketball Head Coach Lennox Forrester has announced the suspension of senior forward Jerome Jones for the remainder of the basketball season.

"He has not met the expectations and standards I have for my team and that our department has for our student-athletes," Forrester said. "He will not play for the rest of the season, however will remain on scholarship and will receive all the academic support necessary to help him complete his degree next fall."

SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt fully backs the decision made by Forrester.

"I support the decision to suspend Jerome Jones for the remainder of the season," Hewitt said. "We have a 'Commitment to Excellence' philosophy which defines the SIUE way for success.

"Everyone in our department is expected to embrace this philosophy," Hewitt continued. "Coach Forrester has done a great job leading this team through our certification to Division I, and it is more important than ever to maintain our values and integrity and to continue to develop our student athletes so they may reach their potential."

Austin Peay 71, Eastern Illinois 64

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Red was the color of the night during Thursday’s Valentine’s Day game at Lantz Arena as Austin Peay jumped out to a quick lead and held off a late Eastern Illinois rally to win 71-64.

APSU improved to 6-20, 2-10 in the OVC.  EIU fell to 7-19, 4-9 in the OVC.  The Panthers will play Murray State at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.  At halftime of that game EIU will retire the No. 44 jersey worn by all-time great Henry Domercant.

Eastern Illinois trailed by as many as 22 points in the second half and were down 16 points with 2:05 remaining as Anthony Campbell made one of two from the line to put APSU up 61-45.  The Panthers then used a 10-0 run fueled by a pair of buckets by both Josh Piper and Morris Woods to cut the lead to 61-55 with 1:05 left.

APSU made three of four free throws on the next two possessions as EIU missed two offensive looks.  Travis Betran sank a pair with 42 seconds left to put the Governors up nine.  Betran, the OVC’s third leading scorer, was held to only five points on the night.  Woods helped EIU get the lead back to seven with 33 seconds left as he led the Panthers with 24 points.

Alex Austin cut the deficit to five points with a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left but APSU sank four straight free throws in the final 13 seconds to hold on for the win. Austin had 20 points for EIU making 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

Austin Peay opened the game with an 8-0 run in the first half as Chris Horton scored six of the Governors first eight points.  Horton would finish with a double-double at 14 point, 10 rebounds.  APSU won the battle on the glass by a 36-31 margin after being out-rebounded by 11 boards in EIU’s mid-January win in Clarksville.

The Governors extended the lead to double figures with 9:19 to play in the first on a Jeremy Purvis three point play. Purvis had 11 points off the bench as APSU led 28-18 at the half.

Campbell led the Governors in scoring with 24 points making 5-of-7 from 3-point range.  For the night APSU hit 9-of-17 from beyond the arc for 53 percent.