BELLEVILLE - Edwardsville junior forward Malik Allen had a big game for the Tigers against East St. Louis on Feb. 10, leading all scorers with 19 points in Edwardsville's 57-38 loss to the Flyers at Lynx Arena at the Lindenwood University-Belleville campus.

Malik AllenAllen, who is currently averaging 13.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, going along with 33 assists, 14 steals and a blocked shot, is starting to emerge as one of the key players in the Tigers' rotation as the regular season winds down and the IHSA Class 4A playoffs loom. Although East Side took control of the game in the third quarter, the Tigers kept plugging away and both played and worked hard throughout the game.

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"I thought we played hard, played to the capabilities that we could," Allen said about the East St. Louis game. "We're going to keep building, keep working, going to stay in the gym. The first half showed what we can do if we keep our energy up and everything. We kind of just let it get away, got a little tired, and just gone."

In the first half, the Tigers gave the Flyers everything they wanted, playing excellent defense in holding an 18-15 lead at halftime. East Side took control with a 13-5 run in the third quarter and built up both their momentum and lead the rest of the way.

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"I have just been working on my shot, knowing people are going to be coming out to me," Allen said. "I have been working on deep shots, pump fakes, side shots."

Allen's shooting touch has improved steadily this season, as he's been the leading scorer in many of Edwardsville's games the last few weeks. He accounted for all eight points in the first quarter against the Flyers and his shooting touch couldn't have come at a better time for Edwardsville, as they go into their final two games of the regular season, both at home against Collinsville Feb. 14 and Belleville West Feb. 17. Allen is very much looking ahead to those two games.

"Yeah, I'm looking forward to those," Allen said. "We're going to come ready and prepare and do what we've got to do. I think we've got a big chance to become number one in the (Southwestern) conference. We can bring home a play."

The most important thing is that the Tigers have still won 10 of their last 13 games and are 16-4 since mid-December and look to continue their momentum into the postseason.

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