CARBONDALE, Ill. (December 19, 2017) – North Carolina A&T had its roughest night of the season on Tuesday as Southern Illinois came away with a 102-64 win over the Aggies men’s basketball team at SIU Arena.
The Aggies were playing their second game in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. The Aggies final two games of the classic will be played in Las Vegas. Tuesday marked the Aggies most lopsided loss of the season.
Junior forward Femi Olujobi reached the 20-point plateau for the first time in five games as he finished with 20 points and seven rebounds on 8-for-12 shooting. Olujobi is averaging 21.9 points per game in leading the Aggies in scoring. On Tuesday, he was the only Aggie to score in double figures. The Aggies are 6-6 on the season.
Despite the Aggies best efforts, the Salukis shot the ball well throughout the game. N.C. A&T shot the ball well in the first half, going 13-for-23 from the floor (56.5 percent). But the Salukis (7-4) topped that hitting two-thirds of their shot attempts by shooting 67.7 percent.
SIU started their first offensive wave five minutes into the game when a 9-0 run gave the Salukis a 21-9 lead, but junior N.C. A&T guard Aaren Edmead ended the run with a 3-pointer. A Denzel Keyes 3-pointers got the Aggies to within six at 28-22 with 9:46 remaining in the first half. After a Jonathan Wiley jumper pushed the lead to eight for the Salukis, two Olujobi free throws got the Aggies back to within six at the eight-minute mark.
From there, SIU warmed up. Over the next 3 ½ minutes, the Salukis went 6-for-7 from the floor which included a 3-point play and two 3-pointers as the Salukis took a 45-29 lead with 4 ½ minutes remaining in the first half. SIU’s lead grew to 58-37 at halftime. SIU outscored the Aggies 14-5 in points off turnovers in the first half and would go on to outscore N.C. A&T 26-7 in points off turnovers for the game.
SIU was 14-for-25 from 3-point range and shot 61.3 percent from the floor for the game. The Aggies did finish the night shooting 46.2 percent from the floor. Six Salukis scored in double figures led by Armon Fletcher’s 20 points. Tyler Smithpeters had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
N.C. A&T returns to action in Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 22 when they face Radford at Orleans Arena at the Orleans Resort at 3 p.m., EST.