SPRINGFIELD, Mo — Former Missouri State head coach, Barry Hinson was in the house, as a season high 5,900 fans, filled the stands.
The Bears would be without the services of junior guard, Ronnie Rousseau.
“We miss him being here because he is so coachable. Our concern right now is for him to be better,” explained Paul Lusk.
The team, announced his temporary departure prior to the game. The junior college transfer has missed the last week due to an ankle injury, and is expected to miss additional time for personal reasons.
“I don’t care if he ever shoots another basket for us. Our concern is with him being better,” said Lusk.
Senior guard, Dequon Miller, also out of the starting 5.
“You can’t be late for shoot-around,” said Lusk. “Dequon is going to be fine, but he is going to have to live with that. We aren’t going to start doing that.”
The Salukis would come out to an early lead. Mike Rodriguez would lead the way in the 1st half. He led all scorers, with 11 at the break.
A pair of alley oops, compliments of Obediah Church would keep the Bears in the game. SIU, went into the half with an 8-point lead.
In the 2nd frame, Jarred Dixon would catch fire. He would score 11 in the 2nd half, and help eliminate a 10 point Southern Illinois lead.
But down the stretch, 4 Salukis would score in double digits, as the dogs down the Bears, 75-67.
“You’re not young, but you are new. And it takes some time for new players to start playing,” said Saluki head coach Barry Hinson after the game. “He (Bob Wenzel, CBS Sports) said you’re new players are starting to play, and I would have to agree with that.”
When asked if the Salukis were tougher than the Bears tonight, Paul Lusk jumped in. “I’ll handle that. That wasn’t even close, they out toughed us.”
As for Rousseau III, “There are some adjustments that have to be made with him being out, but we had other distractions today, and that can’t happen,” said Lusk.