The Salukis (9-7, 2-1 MVC) fell 82-70 to the Drake Bulldogs (12-4, 1-2 MVC) for their first conference loss of the season.Southern had entered the game with two wins to open conference play over Missouri State and the University of Northern Iowa.
Over the last two seasons, the Dawgs and Drake have split the games with the victories coming on the road last year.
Southern leads the Bulldogs with an all-time record of 58-34.
SIU was coming off it’s best defensive effort in conference play since February 25th, 2009 against Drake as they held UNI 31.5 percent field goal shooting on Saturday.
The Salukis were looking for their first 3-0 start in the MVC for the since the 2015-2016 season.
This game marked the end of senior forward Armon Fletcher’s suspension for violation of team policy.
Drake ran off to a quick 10-0 start against Southern as senior forward Nick McGlynn led the way with seven points.
McGlynn finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds and 19 points for the Bulldogs.
Senior center Kavion Pippen scored first for Southern to end the run by the Bulldogs as the Salukis trailed 10-2.
After a dunk by Pippen, McGlynn was fouled and he made one of two free throws as Southern trailed 15-7 at the 12 minute mark of the half.
Drake took their biggest lead after making a three-pointer but Fletcher got the layup to make it 20-9.
An assist and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Noah Thomas extended the Bulldog lead to 27-9.
A layup by Fletcher pulled the Salukis within 20 but Drake responded with back to back three pointers to push it out to 43-17 with 51 seconds remaining in the half.
A three-pointer by junior guard Aaron Cook and a jumper by Fletcher ended the scoring in the first half as the Salukis trailed 43-22 at halftime.
After a three-pointer …