By: Sammy Stava
biggest news that has happened so far in this year’s Missouri Valley
Tournament came down late Friday night as the longest-tenured head coach
in the league decided to call it quits.
After spending 16 seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference (nine with Missouri State and seven at Southern Illinois), SIU’s Barry Hinson announced at the post-game press conference that he has stepped down as Saluki’s head coach.
“I made – we made a pact that, if we didn’t go to the NIT or NCAA, that it would be time for me to step away. I’ve had the most enjoyable year, believe it or not, being around these young men and being around my current athletic director Jerry Kill,” – Hinson said.
The Southern Illinois Saluki’s season ended with a record of 17-15 after a 61-58 loss to Northern Iowa in the nightcap of the Missouri Valley Tournament Quarterfinals.
“If you quote me on one thing, I’d like for you to quote me on this. I am so sorry. I am so sorry that we couldn’t get back to a tournament. It’s haunted me. It’s haunted me my entire life,” – Hinson said at the post-game press conference.
With Hinson’s departure as head coach, Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson is currently the longest-tenured head coach in the MVC. And he has his UNI team advancing to the MVC Semifinals with the 61-58 win over Southern Illinois.
The Panthers won the game in the final seconds, highlighted by a game-winner by the MVC Freshman of the Year AJ Green. Green only had six points on the night, but one of his baskets was the biggest shot of his career so far, a jump shot with 14 seconds remaining to put Northern Iowa in the lead at 59-58.
Senior Wyatt Lohaus led the Panthers with 21 points, keeping his college career alive. Lohaus is the only senior on this young Northern Iowa team and he said “It’s awesome. I want to keep playing as long as we can here at the end. To win a game like that the way we did, it feels really good.”
Lohaus and Northern Iowa will keep playing tomorrow in an in-state match up against Drake in the second Arch Madness semifinal at 5:00 p.m. CT, following another in-state match up in Loyola and Bradley.