Wichita, Kan. - The Southern Illinois Salukis defeated the Wichita State Shockers, 56-53 in a tightly contested game in front of 10,147 fans at Charles Koch Arena on Tuesday night.
Carlton Fay of Southern Illinois led all scorers with 21 points and his two free throws with four seconds left iced the game for the Salukis. A three-pointer by Ben Smith at the buzzer fell short and the Salukis improved to (11-14, 5-9) and dropped the Shockers to (20-5, 11-3) on the season. Toure' Murry led the Shockers with 16 points and J.T. Durley added ten points.
Murry scored nine points to start the second half to help the Shockers take a 38-35 lead. A driving layup and a and-one free throw by Joe Ragland gave the Shockers a 43-39 lead at the 11:34 mark but the Salukis answered with a three pointer by Jack Crowder and a field goal by Kendal Brown-Surles to take a 44-43 lead. After a Smith free throw tied the game at 44, Murry hit a 3-pointer to give the Shockers their last lead of the game, 47-46. Southern Illinois would go on 8-2 lead that would prove to be the difference in the game.
A put back by Ben Smith off a Durley missed three pointer cut the lead to 54-51 and two free throws by Durley made it 54-53 Southern Illinois with 12.2 seconds left in the game.
The Shockers struggled shooting the ball on Tuesday night, hitting only 19-of-53 (35.8%) from the field and 3-of-15 from the three-point line.
Durley scored six points to help the Shockers take a 15-7 lead to start the game and force the Salukis to use their first timeout at the 12:05 mark.
Southern Illinois answered with a 13-5 run to cut the lead to 23-20 going into the last media timeout of the half at the 2:59 mark. Fay scored seven points during the run to lead the Salukis.
At halftime Durley's eight points and four rebounds led the Shockers. Southern was paced by Fay's 14 points at the break and Wichita native Crowder added six points and a team-leading four rebounds. The score was 27-26 Wichita State at halftime.
Each team was an identical 11-for-26 (42.3%) from the field and 1-for-4 (25%) from the three-point line at halftime.
Next action for the Shockers will be this Saturday at Northern Iowa. Tip off is set for 9:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.