CARBONDALE — The open 3-pointers went down, Kavion Pippen had 10 points early in the second half, and SIU's men's basketball team rolled over sister school SIU-Edwardsville in a big way Wednesday night.
Two years after the Cougars upset the Salukis 76-74 at SIU Arena, the maroon and white limited the red and white to six first-half field goals in an 86-59 win. SIU led by as much as 22 points in the first half and 41 in the second to snap a two-game losing streak.
SIU guard Armon Fletcher, an Edwardsville native, was one of five Salukis in double figures and one of five players that never forgot that loss on Dec. 9, 2015.
"Coach (Barry) Hinson reminded us of that this whole week. It was a big factor," said Fletcher, who had 11 points and a career-high five assists. "We wanted to come out and perform well in front of our fans and our friends, and we wanted to come out and make sure we didn't have that feeling again."
Sean Lloyd scored 10 of his 19 points in the first half, and Pippen grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to go with his 13 points. Four days after the Salukis struggled to find the 6-foot-10 center in the paint, Pippen made 6 of 14 from the field and handed out his fourth assist of the season. His second double-double of the season helped SIU (3-2) double up SIUE (1-5) 44-22 in the paint.
SIU made 4 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and 8 of 15 for the game. SIUE tried early and often to keep up with its sister school to the south from the arc, but missed 13 of 16 in the first half and finished 4 of 24. The Cougars flirted with their lowest score ever in the series with the Salukis, 55 points, but got to 56 on two free throws by Christian Ellis with 1:52 to go.
"They jumped on us," third-year SIUE coach Jon Harris said. "They were the aggressors, unfortunately for us. We missed some shots, but I think they had a lot to do with that. Unfortunately we started the second half with a turnover. Bottom line, we gotta find a way to be better."
Ellis scored 16 points to lead the Cougars, who dropped their third straight game. Junior guard Jaylen McCoy had 13 off the bench, leading scorer Daniel Kinchen had 12 and Jalen Henry had 11 points and 11 boards.
Aaron Cook scored 13 for SIU, which got points from eight of its 10 players. Jonathan Wiley had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double as a Saluki.
"He just will not take bad shots," said Hinson, who watched Wiley sink 5 of 7 from the field and both of his free throw attempts. "He has 12 points on seven shots, and he got to the free-throw line. He was efficient. He got rebounds tonight. When he plays amongst himself, he's pretty doggone good for us."
SIU's 86 points were the second-highest ever against the Cougars after the Salukis won last season's game, 101-83, in Edwardsville.
Led by Pippen's two blocks, SIU rejected five shots in the opening 20 minutes and finished with six. Wiley, Fletcher and Brendon Gooch added blocks for SIU.
The Salukis tried to put SIUE away in the opening 12 minutes. The Salukis turned four offensive rebounds into five second-chance points in the opening eight minutes and jumped out ahead 15-3. As the Cougars tried to catch up with the 3-point shot, they missed nine of their first 10 behind the arc.
The Cougars outscored SIU 13-0 in the final four minutes, throwing away any claims of a beginning-to-end blowout. But the Salukis got pretty close.
"We've just been trying to put a whole 40 minutes together," Wiley said. "We kind of had it tonight."