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Missouri State Defeat Southern Illinois in OT 76-75

N.J. Benson (35) guards AJ Ferguson (14) during the Bears 76-75 overtime win over the Salukis.
Saluki Athletic Communications
N.J. Benson (35) guards AJ Ferguson (14) during the Bears 76-75 overtime win over the Salukis.

A nail-biting, pulse-pounding conclusion to January, as Missouri State (13-9, 5-6) overtakes Southern Illinois (14-8, 6-5) in the last seconds of OT to win 76-75. With five seconds left and the game tied at 72, Missouri State’s Donovan Clay put up a jump shot that secured the win. A last second three-point shot by Xavier Johnson could not prevent the Salukis from losing in the first overtime game at the Banterra Center since 2018.

The Salukis, led by Johnson, could not capitalize on their 10-point lead in the last five minutes of regulation. Johnson scored 28 points last night and had 6 assists, but it was the turnovers that cost the Salukis the game. 16 turnovers, leading to 15 points for Missouri State. Johnson and Troy D’Amico combined had 9 turnovers.

Johnson, who went 5-9 in three-point shooting, took accountability for the loss.

“Not good leadership on my part. Making sure that we remain locked in through the rest of the 20 minutes of the half and keeping our foot on their necks. I think we had them on the ropes but we kept giving them life and they capitalized off of it.”

The Salukis look to regroup and get ready for their next conference game against the UIC Flames (8-14, 1-10) Saturday February, 3 at 1 p.m. in Chicago.

“We have to stick together,” Johnson said. “It’s not gonna be a friendly environment so we just got to get ready to play.”

Jared Harris is a student news contributor for WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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