Southern Illinois men's basketball team stranded on I-57 - KMSP-TV

SIU team spends night in church after storm

Posted: Updated:
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Southern Illinois' men's basketball team is heading back to campus after spending the night on the floor of a central Illinois church.

The winter storm barreling across the Midwest left the Southern Illinois University men's basketball team stranded aboard their team bus on Interstate 57 near downstate Champaign.

About 6:30 p.m., the team was headed back to Carbondale after a 66-48 loss at Illinois State in Normal, when the driver of the team bus pulled over on Interstate 57 due to poor visibility, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. The bus got stuck in snowdrifts.

A tow truck pulled the bus from the side the road hours later and the two dozen players and staff members spent the night sleeping in a Tuscola church. Other members of the coaching staff had driven separately.

Tom Weber is the school's assistant athletics director for media services. He says the players started traveling again around 6:30 a.m. after stocking up on food But heavy snow in central Illinois meant the bus was only traveling about 15 mph.

He says road conditions are "very, very bad."

The Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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