It’s a bittersweet day for coach Barry Hinson.
While Southern Illinois announced in a release that the Salukis will get back Diamond Taylor on Jan. 15 after he spent the first half of the season suspended following a DUI arrest on Sept. 22, the program also announced that sophomore Antonio Bryer is leaving the team and will transfer at the end of the spring semester.
Bryer, a 6-6 sophomore, averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in nine games this season. He left the team briefly earlier this season but returned. As a freshman, the Norview. Va. native played in 12 games and scored six total points. It’s kind of obvious he’s probably looking for more playing time, at least on the surface.
Taylor, on the other hand, is bigger news. The junior guard averaged 4.3 points in 14 minutes per game last season. He’ll be a key back-up to guards Kendal Brown-Surles and Jeff Early for the Missouri Valley Conference slate in a league where depth is key.
Bryer leaving is a major blow to the depth of SIU, but nothing they can’t overcome. But Taylor is a welcome addition for Hinson and the Salukis.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.