CARBONDALE - Southern Illinois University's three-headed, new-look frontline continued to produce Wednesday night.
Forwards Mamadou Seck and Carlton Fay and center Gene Teague combined for 42 of the Salukis' 83 points against Southeast Missouri State. The trio grabbed 17 of SIU's 31 rebounds, and gave the Redhawks as many matchup problems as they got in SIU's 15-point victory at SIU Arena. The three combined to go 9-of-16 from the field and 24-of-30 at the free-throw line in just their second start together.
"Seck is a huge ‘3' for us, and he can guard real well on the court, and Gene is able to block shots, and I can draw charges, so, I think it definitely helps," Fay said.
Fay made 2-of-4 from the field and 11-of-12 at the stripe to finish with 15 points. Seck, in his second start as a Saluki, scored 14 and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes with two assists. Teague, who has scored in double figures in every Saluki victory this season, went for 13 and 10, respectively, in 26 minutes. Fay and Seck scored at least 10 points for the third straight game, while Teague earned his sixth career double-double and third this season.
SIU coach Chris Lowery said moving Seck into the starting lineup gave the Salukis not only more energy, but more offensive diversity.
"Carlton's good on the block, and we gotta take advantage of that, and, just finding out; Seck, sometimes you just gotta let him go," Lowery said. "He can make plays on his own without us running stuff for him, so, when you look at our frontcourt, again, the percentages are good. Obviously, Gene's gotta continue to get better at the free-throw line, but, it's imposing because those guys play hard, and they're aggressive."
The frontcourt's next challenge comes on the road Saturday at Western Kentucky (4-5). The Salukis (5-4) and Hilltoppers tip off at 1 p.m. at Diddle Arena. SIU is 11-10 against WKU, 3-4 at Diddle Arena.