Panthers defeat Southern Illinois, 67-58, now have back-to-back wins


Wes Washpun (11) finished the game with 16 points. Koch, also pictured, finished with a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

After a recent win against Bradley University 68-50, the Panther’s beat Southern Illinois at the McLeod Center 67-58.

Struggling to make their shots fall, the Panthers began the game shooting 7-23 from the field and 2-12 from three-point territory.

With 11 minutes to play in the first half, the Panthers found themselves trailing by 10 until Wes Washpun ended the scoring drought with an “and-one” drive for three points. Matt Bohannon scored three points to start an 8-0 run to tie the game at 25-25 with 1:25 left in the first half.

Early in the second quarter, the Panthers began with a 7-0 run to take the lead, 36-31. Leading the Panthers in scoring was Bennett Koch as he shot 5-6 from the field and 4-8 from the free throw line for a total of 14 points in the second half. Koch also grabbed 8 rebounds.

This win marks back-to-back victories for the Panthers, the first since Nov. 30 when they dropped North Dakota and North Texas.

This is Southern Illinois’s second loss in a row after coming off a four-game win streak.

Koch led the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Panthers on Sunday. Washpun finished with 16 points and three assists. The last field goal of the game was an easy jump shot by Washpun with 3:17 left to play.

The Panthers shot for 35 percent in the first half. They turned it around in the second half as they shot for 50 percent; they finished the game with 42 percent shooting.

With the strong second half, the Panthers had the largest lead of the game at 12 points ahead midway through the second half of play.

Their next game will be at home against Evansville University. This will take place on Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. at the McLeod Center.