The Saluki women’s basketball team scuffled through a tough fight Saturday afternoon against Lindenwood University, a Division II school from Missouri.
The SIU women were outscored in the first half 33-23 and outscored in the second half 37-32, and were upset by the Lions 70-55.
Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin led the team in scoring, racking up 16 points. Right behind her sophomore center Dyana Pierre with 10 points.
SIU struggled at the free throw line, finishing the game 7-19 with a 36.8 free throw percentage. The Lindenwood Lions went 8-11 from the free throw line, which was good for 72.7 percent.
“Our free throws were horrible,” Macklin said. “You have to come in putting up shots if you feel like you’re not stepping to the line and making shots.”
The Salukis and Lions were tied at 10 in the first half with 13 minutes remaining. From then on, the Lions never let SIU outscore them. The Lions went on a 7-0 run, leading by 10 points at halftime.
With just under six minutes remaining in the game, the Salukis were trailing by 10 points, making the score 56-46. Then the Lions outscored the Salukis 14-9 to capture the win.
The Lions led by as much as 16 points. Four Lindenwood players scored double figures, including a freshman, sophomore, and two seniors.
This is Lindenwood’s first season as an eligible member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II.
Coach Cindy Stein was disappointed with the Salukis’ performance. Stein said the women did not play well or disciplined.
“They outplayed us,” Stein said. “Lindenwood is very well-coached, they beat us in loose balls and took balls away from us, and those kind of things shouldn’t happen.”
Stein said post play was a big factor in the loss. The Salukis only have two women who play down low in the post.
Centers Alexus Patterson and Pierre were the only Salukis who put their backs to the basket.
“I’m disappointed in our post play the most,” Stein said. “I think our post can be dominant, but we just don’t have enough of them.”
Stein said the centers have to get tougher and work to get more in shape for longer duration. Due to the limited post players, the Salukis will have to work on outside shooting.
After the Salukis won their first exhibition match 67-60 against Maryville University, Stein was content with SIU’s performance, but said progression was needed.
“Honestly I felt like we have taken a step back,” Stein said. “But when you play a smart passing, efficient shooting team you’ve got to be very disciplined, and that is where we are lacking right now.”
Although the women showed some progression after their winning performance in the first exhibition game, a few of last season’s habits began to show against Lindenwood
“There is not one aspect of this game that we won today,” Stein said. “A lot of bad habits came out that we thought were not coming around as much.”
Stein said the Salukis did not demonstrate any toughness, as they seemed to only play one-on-one and looked to play individually instead of playing together.
Macklin said she knows her team is lacking communication on defense, and it has showed in both the first and second exhibition games.
“Defense was the biggest thing that has hurt us in both games,” Macklin said. “Transition in the first game and second game too, we’re not talking or communicating.”
The Salukis will open their season Friday, November 8 against Wright State University, who won their first exhibition game 81-55 against Indiana Wesleyan.
“We’ve got to get a lot tougher,” Stein said. “We have to play a lot better defense.”