SIU struggled offensively (big surprise, right?)
Posted on: March 8, 2008 8:22 am
Southern Illinois will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.
That's the result of Friday night's 54-49 loss to Northern Iowa in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference, a game in which the Salukis missed three 3-point attempts in the final 35 seconds and 18 of the 24 they attempted overall. That's why they lost, in simple terms. But on some level it was a fitting ending given how SIU's main problem all season has been the ability to make shots -- 3-pointers or otherwise.
SIU ranks 216th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage.
SIU ranks 210th nationally in 2-point field goal percentage.
SIU ranks 107th nationally in free throw percentage.
So while it might be true that defensive wins championships, the reality is that a respectable offense certainly helps. And the Salukis have been offensively challenged all season, proof being how they've been held to less than 57 points in 10 of their 13 losses.