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No. 10 Indiana Defeats SIUE

Burak Eslik drives with the ball at Grand Canyon; photo courtesy: Darryl Webb
Burak Eslik drives with the ball at Grand Canyon; photo courtesy: Darryl Webb

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – SIUE men's basketball snapped a two-game winning streak with an 83-60 loss at No. 10 Indiana Friday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The Cougars fell to 4-4 overall, while Indiana improved to 6-1.

"I thought the guys fought hard until the end, which I applaud them for," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "It was a frustrating performance, honestly because I didn't think we played at the level we've been playing at."

SIUE opened the scoring with a layup by Jalen Henry and a jumper from Carlos Anderson and led 4-0 after two and a half minutes. Indiana used a 7-0- run to take the lead and never relinquished it again.

"There's a reason that this team is ranked number 10 in America," Harris said. "It's a tremendous basketball team. They are well-coached, the play hard. They're long and athletic and can make shots.

"We told the guys it was only a matter of time before they made a run and it was important how we combatted the run, Harris added. "We just didn't do that enough tonight."

Indiana forced SIUE into nine first-half turnovers and converted those takeaways into 16 points. The Hoosiers led 43-21 at half.

"That was the difference in the ballgame. They scored 16 points off of nine turnovers in the first half and we're down 22," Harris said. "We did a pretty sound job guarding them in the half court until we started turning the ball over and then they got out and they ran against us."

SIUE turned the ball over just twice in the second half, but Indiana remained relentless, running its lead to as many as 33 in the second half.

The Hoosiers connected on 46.4 percent (13-28) of their shots in the second half and 28-60 (46.7 percent) for the game.

The Cougars finished the game on a 21-11 run to cut into the Indiana advantage.

Burak Eslik led the Cougars and tied for game-high honors with a season-high 18 points.

"He is a competitive kid," Harris said. "He stayed the course; he only took one shot in the first half. The lane opened up for him in the second half. He had some strong drives and got to the free throw line. He did some nice things in the second half."

Anderson and Henry each finished with 10 points for SIUE.

Juwan Morgan led Indiana with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The meeting was the first for Harris and Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean, who coached Harris for three seasons at Marquette.

"He told me to stay encouraged and that he's been impressed with what he has seen of us on film," Harris said.

The Cougars return home to face Stetson Wednesday night at Vadalabene Center.

"We'll keep pushing," Harris said. "It's frustrating, no doubt but we'll continue to fight. We'll come back on Wednesday ready to go."  

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