From ISU Media Relations
TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State men’s basketball opened Missouri Valley play with a win over Southern Illinois on Tuesday night with the largest margin of victory over the Salukis in 20+ years, 77-44. The Sycamores moved to 6-1 on the season with the first MVC win.
Becoming a household name, Isaiah Swope finished with a game-high 22 points, leading the Sycamores’ offense in scoring for the sixth time in seven games. Swope knocked down four triples, marking the fifth time he’s recorded four-plus made threes this season.
Xavier Bledson entered the starting lineup for the third time this season and made the most of his 28 minutes, shattering his season-high in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-9 from the floor. Julian Larry recorded 11 points, and Jayson Kent finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The contest began with tough defense by both teams for the first four minutes, leading to only six points on a combined 2-of-12 from both squads. The Sycamores found their groove and went on a 13-4 run through the next five minutes to own a 20-9 lead at thee 10-minute mark. At the halftime break, the Sycamore defense forced the Salukis’ lowest-scoring half of the season with 20 points on a 29% effort.
ISU opened the second half on the offensive, led by Bledson with 10 points and two triples in the first eight minutes of the half. One of Bledson’s jumpers in the span increased the Sycamores’ lead to 20 points, and ISU never turned back.
Julian Larry made the play of the game in the second half with a massive one-handed slam over a Saluki defender, making the crowd erupt. Indiana State closed out the game by climbing to a 30-point advantage with baskets from Swope and Kent – which included another two-handed slam by Kent.
News & Notes
- For the second straight season under Coach Josh Schertz, the Sycamores opened the season with a 6-1 record. ISU has opened MVC play with a win twice in the Coach Schertz era.
- Tonight’s victory was the largest margin of victory over the Salukis since January 19, 2000 when ISU won 91-56.
- ISU limited the turnovers to only four through the first 36 minutes of the game.
- Tonight’s defensive effort held SIU to 15% shooting from beyond the arc, the third time the Sycamores held their opponent under 30% in the game.
- Isaiah Swope has scored 21+ points in three-straight games (21, 23, 22) and four times this season. Swope opened the season with 26 points.
- Jayson Kent was one rebound away from reaching his third double-double of the season. Entering the game, Kent was tied for 17th in the nation in double-doubles.
Indiana State heads on a five-day road trip beginning Friday. On Saturday, the Sycamores battle Bradley in Peoria, Ill. then travel to the west of Chicago to Northern Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 5.