The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball team kicked off a seven-game home stand on Tuesday night against Robert Morris College. Nothing was more important to coach Marty Simmons than starting off with a strong performance - and his Cougars delivered. SIUE shot down the Eagles with a strong defensive game in a 77-51 win. "In this league, protecting your home court is very important," Simmons said. "It's a nice feather in our hat to start with a win." The Cougars seemed to be a team on a mission as they couldn't be stopped on the floor. SIUE jumped out to a 11-2 lead behind the hot shooting of Joel Jaye and Tim Bauersachs. The defense was so stifling that the Eagles didn't get their second field goal until the 12:55 mark of the first half. J.B. Jones stood out in a great team defensive effort in the first half. The freshman nabbed three steals from the Eagles and blocked two shots to help his team. Michael Sams and Anthony Jones provided a lift for the Cougars off the bench. Sams grabbed eight defensive rebounds and Jones had four steals. "That's our team," Simmons said. "It starts on the defensive end with us." SIUE took a commanding 39-13 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Robert Morris did not come out and hand the Cougars the victory. The Eagles put a smaller lineup on the floor and utilized their quickness in moving the ball around while connecting on 5 of 8 three-pointers. "In the second half we were kind of lethargic," Simmons said. "They can spread you out with the smaller lineup and we weren't hustling." Simmons countered with a smaller lineup on the court in the second half, which saw Anthony Jones get a lot of minutes. "Anthony is getting better and better," Simmons said. "This was a good opportunity to get him minutes." The Cougars finished with four players in double figures with Jaye leading the way with 16 points. Bauersachs netted 15 while Justin Ward added 11 and Doug Taylor scored 10. SIUE evens its record at 2-2 with the win and will look to go above the .500 mark on Friday when it starts Great Lakes Valley Conference play against rival Lewis University at 7:30 p.m.