The Saluki women’s basketball team failed to capture a lead at any point during Thursday’s 78-65 loss to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at SIU Arena.
SIU (0-5) was unable to contain junior IPFW forward Amanda Hyde, who scored a career-high 43 points on 16-26 shooting and eclipsed her previous record by an astonishing 21 points.
“Our defense is exactly what I’ve thought it’s been for quite some time now,” coach Missy Tiber said. “It’s just really holding us back from being the team we’re capable of being.”
Statistically, the Salukis played a fairly even game against the Mastodons (3-3). SIU shot only 2.5 percent worse from the field while out-rebounding IPFW 41-36 and making seven more appearances at the free-throw line than the visitors.
However, aspects of the game that made the difference won’t be found in scoring records. Hyde cut to the basket with ease and was presented with many uncontested jump shots.
Just when it seemed as if the Saluki defense had found a way to contain her, Hyde would find a way to score again. After the Salukis cut the deficit to 68-61 with 4:08 remaining, Hyde scored the team’s final 10 points and put away the contest for good.
“If our kids would have a sense of pride on every single possession on the defensive end of the court like they do at some points of the game, then we’re really starting to move the program forward,” Tiber said. “Letting a kid score 43 points is discouraging.”
The Salukis were without sophomore center Alexus Patterson for the second straight game because of a sprained ankle. However, redshirt freshman forwards Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington, two of SIU’s other big post players, played well in her place.