By ANTHONY SHINGLER | Senior Staff Writer
The Govs came into their first game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge Sunday, Nov. 21, against the Southern Illinois Salukis hoping to rebound from a 104-101 overtime loss at Lipscomb earlier in the week.

However, the Salukis’ dominance on the boards proved to be too much for the Govs.

The Salukis earned their first win of the year, beating the Govs, 72-65, in the first round of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. SIU won the rebounding battle 39-21, including 16 on the offensive end. The Govs produced only seven offensive boards out of 21 total.

“Southern Illinois just out-toughed us,” said APSU head coach Dave Loos in an SIU press release.

“They beat us up really bad on the boards. This is the first of our four games that I have been disappointed in our effort defensively, because they were just tougher than us.”

An 8-2 run at the end of the first half by the Govs made the game close at halftime. The Salukis led by three, 34-31. Govs junior center John Fraley kept up the Govs’ momentum at the start of the second half with a dunk that brought the lead down to one, 36-35. Fraley scored eight points in the game. Junior guard Tyshawn Edmondson led the team with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field coming off the bench. Senior Anthony Campbell was the only other Govs with double-digit points. He scored 15 points.

The Salukis Kendal Brown-Surles had a break out performance. He scored 15 points, shooting 4-of-6 from the field including 3-of-4 from the three-point stripe.

“I really had no idea about (Brown-Surles),” Loos said. “He was a real spark for them — there’s no question about that.”

The Govs cut the SIU lead to two points three times in the second half but could not overtake the Salukis. The last one came when Edmonson hit a jumper with 2:29 remaining in the game that made the score 63-61. The Salukis responded with a 9-2 run which put the game away.

The Govs were out shot 23-of-40 (46.0 percent) to SIU’s 29-of-56 (51.8 percent) from the field. The Govs improved from recent free throw woes, making 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) from the line. The Salukis shot 10-15 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe.

“I’ll be honest with you, they shot it better than we anticipated they would,” Loos said. “We thought we could zone some, but we didn’t have a lot of success with that.”

The Govs will continue play in the Chicago Invitational Challenge Friday, Nov. 26, against Charleston Southern.

The tip-off is scheduled for noon. The tournament will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 27. The Govs will not return home until Tuesday, Dec. 7, when they try to avenge their loss to Lipscomb. TAS