For 20 minutes, it appeared that SIU Edwardsville was going to make me look very foolish for basically calling Saturday’s matchup an easy win. But a much stronger second half propelled SIUE to a 71-57 win over Chicago State.
SIU Edwardsville trailed 41-32 in the second half, until a 16-0 run put the Cougars in the lead.
A three from Chicago State’s Clarke Rosenberg tied the game back up at 48 with 10:45 to play, but Rosenberg was called for a technical foul for something he said following the shot. SIUE’s Jerome Jones sank both free throws, part of his team-high 17 points, to put SIUE back on top 50-48. From there, the Cougars wouldn’t trail the rest of the way.
Rosenberg, who led Chicago State with 19 points, pulled Chicago State within one before SIUE embarked a 10-0 run, pulling away for good.
Chicago State easily won the battle of the boards 48-29, including 14 offensive rebounds. They did have plenty of chances, shooting just 34% on the night. After a hot start from behind the arc to start the game, Chicago State was just 1-13 from three point range in the second half. “In the second half our guys executed the game plan a little bit better,” SIUE head coach Lennox Forrester said. “We closed out to their shooters.”
The bright spot of the night for SIUE, they forced 20 turnovers from Chicago State, and only turned over the ball nine times. Both of SIUE’s wins this year have come when it has committed fewer than 10 turnovers.