EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Four SIUE players scored in double figures led by Carlos Anderson's double-double of 17 points 10 rebounds Saturday in the Cougars' exhibition against McKendree.
SIUE fell to the Bearcats 91-84 in the only exhibition game of the season.
"Sometimes you have to learn lessons the hard way," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "We preach things in practice. Last year we weren't a very good offensive team. Obviously we addressed that. I don't know if we scored 84 at all year, but we don't want to give up 91 naturally.
"We have to get back to the basics," Harris continued. "Sometimes to figure it out you have to get smacked in the face. Now we'll come back to work. We will grind it out. This team will be fine. I am not worried at all."
Freshman Christian Ellis started and played 26 minutes while scoring 13 points and leading the team with five assists.
"He did some really good things," Harris said of Ellis. "Christian is sound. He has played basketball at a high level."
The Cougars shot 45.1 percent (32-71) from the field for the game.
McKendree was led by Nolan Gerling's double-double of 32 points and 14 rebounds. Nate Michael added 16 points and was among four other players who scored in double figures for the Bearcats.
"There is a reason that Coach Statham is the winningest basketball coach in the history of the world," Harris said. "It is a well-coached team that does a good job of exposing your weaknesses. We scheduled McKendree because we thought we'd get a challenge and we did."
The Cougars open the regular season at the Outrigger Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. SIUE will open the tournament with Hawaii Saturday morning with a 2 a.m. CT tipoff.