DU QUOIN — In a battle of two hot teams, Murphysboro, ranked ninth in the state, held Du Quoin to just four points in the second quarter and two in the fourth win, 44-28, and snap the Indians' three-game winning streak.
"This was a big game for us on the road, when Jeremy House doesn’t get 27 points like he has been in the first six games, and our team persevered and got through that," said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. "I loved the team effort tonight. Defensively, we were right on cue."
The Red Devils were led by Jaron Gaston and Corbin Guthman with 12 points each. House was also in double figures, with 10. Guthman made four of five 3-pointers and was the leading rebounder with eight. House led the defense with four steals.
"My teammates were giving me the ball at the right time and I was able to hit a few open shots," Guthman said. "Defense is always big in our game plan."
Murphysboro (7-0) trailed 13-11 at the beginning of the second quarter, but went on a 12-2 run, sparked by Guthman’s second from beyond the arc and two baskets by Gaston to take 23-15 lead into halftime.
"We came in on a three-game winning streak, but knew they were going to be our toughest test of the season so far," said Du Quoin coach Justin Barrington. "House came in averaging 28 points and we held him to 12. We hold them to 44 points when they are averaging 60, but our offense let us down."
Du Quoin (3-3) fell behind by 12 at the start of the third quarter when Guthman opened with his third 3-pointer and DeMari Greenwood scored after Shamar Adams had split a pair of free throws for the Indians.
"We missed a lot of open shots we normally get and when we get it in the paint they do a tremendous job of rotating defensively so we didn’t get any clean looks in the paint," Barrington said. "All our clean looks came from the perimeter and they didn’t go down for us. Tip the hat to them; they got the lead in the fourth quarter and did what good teams do, which was take care of the basketball, making sure we had to work on every offensive and defensive possession."
But the Indians roared back, going on a 10-0 run starting with Ashton Smith stealing the ball and getting fouled and making his first throw. He missed his second, but Lamontay Daughtery grabbed the rebound and scored.
Smith was fouled again, and this time, missed his first and made his second to cut the lead to eight. Smith then stole the ball and fed Daughtery for a one-hand tip-in to keep the run going.
Hank Stewart then scored and Braeden Pursell was sent to the line for two and made both, and with that the Indians had cut the lead to two with 3:35 remaining in the third period.
The Red Devils finally snapped the streak when Gaston scored a one-hander of his own and followed with a layup. In a scramble under the basket, Jeremy House put back his own missed shot at the buzzer to extend the back to eight heading into the fourth quarter.
Murphysboro doubled its lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Guthman and Jacob Morgan, followed by House tipping in another missed shot. The only score for the Indians in the fourth quarter came with 3:21 remaining on a fast break layup by Stewart.
The game started in an ominous fashion when Du Quoin drew two shooting fouls in the first 51 seconds, but came away with just one point. Daughtery missed both his attempts at the 27 second mark, and 24 seconds later, Smith made his first, but missed his second.
It took just a minute before Murphysboro took the lead on a layup by Gaston. Du Quoin then found its shooting eye, with Daughtery scoring on a layup down the lane and Adams draining a 3-pointer from the left side to take a four-point lead.
But Murphysboro stormed back a on 3-pointer by Guthman and a fast break layup by House to regain the lead. After Du Quoin took the lead on a Smith end-to-end layup, House and Greenwood scored to give Murphysboro an 11-8 lead.
Twenty-eight seconds later, Pursell sank a 3-pointer from left corner to tie the game heading into the second quarter.