CARBONDALE — SIU's men's basketball team will have to wait a little longer to try to snap its first losing streak of the season
Just over 24 hours before the Salukis (7-3, 1-3 Missouri Valley Conference) were scheduled to play the first of two games at Indiana State (3-6, 0-4), the league announced the series would be postponed. There are multiple cases of COVID-19 on SIU's Tier 1 personnel, which includes players, coaches, managers and staff, according to the news release from the MVC Friday. Make-up dates for the series will be announced at a later date.
Both games were scheduled for noon tipoffs Saturday and Sunday at the renovated Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. SIU has dropped three straight games after starting the season 7-0. The Salukis beat Evansville 65-57 Dec. 27 to open MVC play, but fell 84-72 the next day. They were knocked off by a combined 49 points in a two-game series at undefeated Drake on Jan. 3 and 4 in Des Moines. SIU is now off until at least next weekend, when it is scheduled to host Valparaiso (3-5) Jan. 16 and 17. Tom Weber, the sports information director at SIU, said the Valparaiso series is still on, and the Salukis are hopeful they will be able to play those games at the Banterra Center.
Indiana State, which has dropped four straight games since starting league play, could be off until Jan. 16 and 17, when it's scheduled to play at Illinois State (3-5, 0-2).
It is not clear when the series will be rescheduled for, but both teams have the weekend of Jan. 22-24 and Feb. 19-21 off as of today. SIU is scheduled to play at Missouri State on Jan. 21, but is then off until a home series against Northern Iowa on Jan. 30/31. The Salukis are scheduled to play at Bradley on Feb. 6/7 and at home against Illinois State on Feb. 13/14 before hosting the Bears on Wednesday, Feb. 17. SIU is then off until its final regular-season series, at Loyola on Feb. 26/27. Under the new MVC scheduling model, teams play their travel partners (in SIU's case, Missouri State), home-and-home as usual, with the games in the middle of the week.
Indiana State is scheduled to host Evansville on Jan. 20, but is off until hosting Bradley on Jan. 30/31. The Sycamores play at Evansville, its travel partner, Wednesday, Feb. 17, and is off until hosting Valparaiso on Feb. 26/27.
SIU has won eight of its last 10 games against the Sycamores, but the two losses came during last season. One of the teams has swept the home-and-home in six straight seasons. SIU won both in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. ISU won both during the 2014-15 season and the 2019-20 season.
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