Salukis left panting in Racers’ dust

The SIU women’s basketball team found trouble cooling Murray State down from three-point range as they lost 67-55 on the road Saturday night.

Murray State (5-3) made nine of 17 attempts from beyond the arc en route to the program’s first win over SIU (0-6) since 1988 and only victory in their last 20 contests. The Racers scored 21 points off 20 Saluki turnovers, posted 16 points in second chance opportunities, took down 18 offensive rebounds and banked 14 transition points to notch their fifth-straight win this season.

SIU’s quick-paced offense managed only four fast-break points.

“We gave up too many offensive rebounds, and that takes away our opportunities to play fast-break style,” coach Missy Tiber said. “We are not the greatest team in the half court set. We just need to be more consistent when we get stops. We have to score that ball in transition.”

SIU could not contain Murray State senior guard Mariah Robinson, who scored 23 points while shooting 6-7 from three-point territory. Robinson put up 14 of her points in the first half, as the Racers led 34-25 at the break.

The Salukis took a one-point lead with 8:47 left in the first, but a Murray State bucket shot put the Racers in the lead for good only nine seconds later.

Three SIU players scored in double figures, but it was not enough to keep up with the Racers, whose 3-point shooting was 23 percent better than the Salukis.

Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin bounced back from an eight-point performance Thursday against Indiana-Purdue Fort Worth with her first double-double of the season. Macklin led the team with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Redshirt freshman forward Dyana Pierre had a double-double for the second game in a row and finished with 12 points on 4-11 shooting along with 10 rebounds.

Freshman forward Jameeka Bouie came off the bench and added 11 points in 23 minutes of play.

SIU continued to collectively improve on the boards, but the team was ultimately out-rebounded 43-42. However, 20 turnovers offset any momentum the Salukis would have on the court’s offensive end.

“Defensively, I felt like we got some stops,” Tiber said. “We had opportunities to get transition buckets, and we just didn’t get them.”

The Salukis will return to SIU Arena Wednesday to take on the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (4-4). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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