Southeastern Illinois College Athletics


Falcons win at Oakland City for eighth win


Staff | 1/19/2024


OAKLAND CITY — The Southeastern Illinois College men’s basketball team picked up a tough road win at Oakland City Tuesday night, 92-84.
The Falcons led for the entire game and never trailed. SIC controlled the game in the paint, winning the battle inside the arc, 48-18, and made 22-of-25 free throws to hold off the Mighty Oaks.
SIC led by as many as 14 points in the first half and took a 42-33 lead into halftime. SIC continued to add to its lead in the second half. The Falcons stretched their lead to 82-63 with just under three minutes to play. After a timeout, the Mighty Oaks put up a late rally but it wasn’t enough.
Amari Wales of Owensboro led the Falcons with 36 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting a perfect 9-for-9 at the free-throw line. Jadyn McHugh of Evansville also added a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Maurice Washington-Williams of Du Quoin had 13 points and 11 boards for the Falcons’ third double-double of the night.
Charles King of Vienna just missed a double-double as he finished with seven points and 10 rebounds. Eli Mackey of Morganfield hit three 3-pointers and tallied 10 points as the fourth Falcon to hit double figures. Wadang Wel of Owensboro (two points), Jordan Mertens of DeSoto, Missouri (five points), Rylie Rushing of Gallatin County and Joel Hortin of Norris City rounded out the Falcons’ lineup.
The win was particularly impressive for the Falcons because they were without the services of routine starters Bryce Conner of Carmi and Ray Horry of St. Louis who both missed the game due to injury. The win over Oakland City completes the season sweep of the Mighty Oaks and is the Falcons’ fourth straight win over the team over the past two years.
“This was a complete team win,” SIC coach Sam Swinford said. “To win on the road, you have to do the little things well and we did that tonight. We out-rebounded them 54-29, which is a credit to our whole team. We also were very focused and determined tonight and that showed as we shot 88 percent at the foul line on the road. I told our guys after the game, winning on the road is the hardest thing to do in college basketball. There are always external factors you face when you go on the road. There are things you can’t control. But the one thing you can control is your effort and I thought we gave an outstanding effort tonight. I’m really proud of our guys for how they are competing right now.”
The game was just the second game after Christmas for the Falcons, who had three recent games canceled due to the winter weather in the midwest. In their only other game this month, the Falcons hung tough and led for much of the game against perennial power Lake Land College in a narrow loss.
“We are rounding into shape at the right time,” Swinford said. “This was our eighth win of the season and I like how our guys continue to get better each and every day. We are a little banged up right now so we have to get healthy for the rest of the way, but I love coaching this group each and every day and I’m excited for the remainder of our season.”
The Falcons’ next home game will be Jan. 31 when they host Brescia College at 7 p.m.