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Southern Illinois Salukis vs. SIU Edwardsville Cougars - 12/23/13

SIU Edwardsville Cougars (2-9) at Southern Illinois Salukis (3-8)

College Basketball: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm (SIU Arena)

The Line: Southern Illinois Salukis -9.5 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds

TV: None

The SIU Salukis welcome their sister school, SIU-Edwardsville for a Monday evening tilt in Carbondale, IL.

The Salukis responded from head Coach Barry Hinson’s animated post-game conference, in which he expressed his displeasure with his unit. They beat Ball State by 8 and pulled away late. Some may have found his comments offensive, but that’s been Barry’s style for years and it normally has evoked a positive response from his team. Let’s get one thing straight – Coach Hinson loves his players like a parent and truly puts his heart and soul into his job and to the progress and maturation of the student-athletes he coaches.

Southern Illinois Salukis vs. SIU Edwardsville Cougars - 12/23/13

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Desmar Jackson continues his consistent play with nearly 20 ppg, while sophomore Jalen Pendleton pumped in 21 points last game to become more reliant for the club which lacks scorers. Southern Illinois is 2-2 at home and has been involved in some close losses. They are a bit better than their record indicates, but still likely a bottom-feeder in the weaker than normal Missouri Valley Conference.

The smaller school from Edwardsville endured a 17-point loss at Chicago State their last time on the court and hopes to come with a stronger effort on Monday. They are led in scoring by Bradley transfer Donivine Stewart (11.4 ppg), who also handles the ball well (2.5 Assist:TO ratio) and a solid court general. There are 6 teammates of his that average between 7 and 9 points per game, so the Cougars are well balanced. They are being outrebounded by 3.5 boards per game, and while the SIU Salukis are not monsters on the glass, they will be at a disadvantage here.

They have some close losses (4 losses by just 5 points or less), and their opponents in those games brought similar talent as the Salukis. This one is tough to call considering those outcomes, and 10 points is a lot. But if Barry’s Salukis want to build on their last game, they should roll in a 12-15 point win in this one. If I had to bet, a very small play on the Salukis.

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SIU Salukis -9.5

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