S. Illinois stranded for over 5 hours

Updated: January 6, 2014, 4:46 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Southern Illinois' men's basketball team was stranded Sunday night on Interstate 57 in Illinois for more than five and a half hours during a heavy snow storm and stayed on their bus into early Monday morning.

[+] EnlargeSouthern Illinois bus
Courtesy Mark MorrisseyThe Southern Illinois team bus became stuck in snow Sunday night on the side of Interstate 57.

The team finally returned home to Carbondale, Ill. -- a 254-mile trip from the Illinois State campus in Normal, Ill. -- on Monday at 2:15 p.m. CT.

SIU athletic director Mario Moccia had been in touch with SIU assistant coach Anthony Beane Sr., who was with the team. SIU head coach Barry Hinson and assistants Terrance McGee and Tom Hankins were not on the bus since they went recruiting following the game against Illinois State.

The Salukis were returning home after losing to the Redbirds 66-48, and were two hours out from their home in Carbondale when the bus driver decided to pull over. 

Moccia said the driver pulled off the side of the road and hoped to get a window where he could continue driving. But when the highway cleared a bit the bus was stuck. Attempts were made to get a tow, but I-57 was closed.

"They're warm," Moccia said. "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 bus stayed on the side of the highway before a tow truck got them back on the road, according to player's tweets.

Some of the players tweeted their reactions to being stuck Sunday night:

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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