Southern Illinois Team Bus Gets Stranded in Blizzard for More Than Five Hours

What should have been a routine four-hour bus ride turned into quite the odyssey for the Southern Illinois men’s basketball team.

The bus carrying the team from Normal, Ill., where the Salukis dropped a 66-48 decision to Illinois State on Sunday night, to the SIU campus in Carbondale got caught in a blizzard on Interstate 57, stranding the players on the side of the highway for more than five hours.

Assistant coach Anthony Beane Sr. was riding with the team on the bus, but head coach Barry Hinson, who made headlines last month for his explosive postgame tirade, was not. He had left for a recruiting trip with two other assistants after the loss.

“They’re warm,” SIU athletic director Mario Moccia told ESPN.com Sunday night. “They’ve got enough gas and food on the bus. The worst-case scenario is they will be there until the highway opens. They’ll have to wait for a tow truck to pull them out.”

The team did indeed have to wait for the highway to open, which didn’t happen until just before 1 a.m. At that point, a tow truck finally arrived to pull the bus out of the snow. A number of players chronicled the ordeal on Twitter, with freshman guard Tyler Smithpeters giving the announcement that the team was finally headed home.

Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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