Carbondale, Ill. (November 21, 2016) – The Mount St. Mary's University men's basketball team led for much of the first half, but Southern Illinois dealt the Mountaineers a 73-63 defeat on Monday night at SIU Arena. Junior Robinson and Will Miller combined for 33 points in the contest to pace the Mount.
Robinson and Will Miller each posted season-highs in points in the tilt as the duo combined for nine three-pointers. Robinson went 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-of-8 from downtown for a team-high 18 points, and Miller knocked down five three-pointers (5-10) en route to a 15-point performance. Elijah Long was the other Mountaineer to reach double figures, finishing with 11 points, including nine in the second half.
Thik Bol led the way for SIU with a double-double on 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with six blocks. Armon Fletcher netted a game-high 19 points, and Sean O'Brien added six points, a game-high 18 rebounds and nine assists.
Robinson had the hot hand to open the contest, draining the Mount's first nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range as the team opened a 9-2 advantage early. The Salukis countered with an 11-2 run, capped by a Sean Lloyd three-pointer, to take a 13-11 lead at the 13:50 mark.
Southern Illinois pushed its lead to 22-16 at the 10:46 mark, but the Mount answered with nine of the game's next 11 points to retake a 25-24 lead. A few minutes later with the Mountaineers leading by three, Will Miller knocked down a long three-pointer to give the team its largest lead of the half, 34-28. The Salukis responded with a 7-2 run to close out the period, cutting their deficit to 36-35 heading into the halftime break.
The Mount shot 7-of-16 from long range in the opening half, led by three three-pointers apiece from Robinson and Will Miller for a 43.8-percent mark. Robinson scored 13 of the team's first 18 points in the period.
The Saluki defense stymied the Mountaineers early in the second half, holding them to just five points in the opening eight-plus minutes while taking a seven point advantage. Aaron Cook knocked down a three at the 11:48 mark to give the Salukis their largest lead to that point in the contest, 48-41.
A runner by Robinson and a dunk in transition from Greg Alexander ended the Salukis' run as the Mount cut the deficit to 48-45. Following a pair of SIU free throws, Will Miller knocked down his fourth three-pointer of the game to pull the Mount within a pair, 50-48.
Armon Fletcher responded with a three of his own to fuel an 11-2 run from SIU, which was capped off by a layup from Bol in transition as the Salukis opened a 61-50 lead. Long scored the game's next four points to trim the Mount's deficit to seven, 61-54, with just under five minutes remaining, but the Salukis pulled away in the ensuing three minutes, pushing their advantage to 71-55, before holding on for the 73-63 victory.
The Mount shot 40.7-percent (22-54) in the contest and 44.4-percent (12-27) from long range compared to a 47.5-percent (28-59) mark for SIU and 35-percent (7-20) from downtown.
The Mount continues its road trip with a matchup at UT Arlington on Wednesday, November 23 at 7 p.m. ET.