Despite closing a 21-point gap against Evansville Sunday, the Salukis couldn’t keep their offense going Thursday night as they fell 72-57 to the Indiana St. Sycamores.
The Salukis (4-11, 1-3) kept it a close contest through most of the first half, but an 18-5 scoring run by the Sycamores (11-5, 3-2 MVC) helped them develop a 14-point lead over SIU going into the half.
“We didn’t allow them to get a lot of easy shots in the first 12 minutes of the first half,” coach Missy Tiber said. “They were missing shots. We just were not getting the rebound. We just didn’t go pursue the basketball when they missed shots.”
The Saluki defense held the Sycamores to less than 39 percent shooting on the night, but poor rebounding and turnovers by SIU’s offense kept the lead out of reach.
“Nineteen turnovers are too many,” Tiber said. “We were throwing the ball all over the place, and I’m not sure why.”
The loss means SIU falls to just 1-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play, their third loss to an MVC opponent in the last four games. The win for Indiana St. makes it its ninth consecutive victory against SIU.
An off night from freshman point guard Rishonda Napier held the Salukis to a disadvantage, as she remained scoreless and missed all seven shots on the night. Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin led the team’s scorers with 17 points.
The Sycamores three players in double-figures on the night, including senior guard Taylor Whitley who had 13 points and five steals on the night. Sophomore forward Racheal Mahan’s performance was key for the Sycamores as she recorded a double-double and went a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line.
SIU will travel to Normal Saturday to face Illinois State at Redbird Arena.
Matt Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 563-3311 ext. 282.