Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin sank a free throw with .5 seconds left in the game to give the SIU women’s basketball team it first victory of the season in a 58-57 win over Southeast Missouri State.
After being down 57-53 with 17 seconds left, Macklin was fouled and hit two free throws to cut the SEMO (4-5) lead to two.
Redshirt freshman forward Azia Washington
then took the ball from the Redhawks before they could make to the half court line. Freshman guard Rishonda Napier hit a jump shot from 10 feet out to tie the game with nine seconds left.
The defensive half court press produced a second- straight turnover for the Salukis (1-6) as Macklin stole the ball and was then immediately fouled, sending her to the line for two shots.
She made the first shot, but she missed the second. SEMO rebounded the ball, but .5 seconds was not enough for the Redhawks to even put up
a shot. Macklin’s winning free throw capped off a wild
back-and-forth second half in the first meeting between the teams since Nov. 2005.
After trailing 27-22 at the half, SEMO came back and hit 13 of 31 field goals in the second. The Redhawks took the lead with 2:00 left in the game, but a lack of ball control ultimately put the game in SIU’s reach.
The Salukis were directed by freshman Rishonda Napier, who started at point guard for the first time
since Nov. 23, when the played against Radford at the University of Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. Napier played all 40 minutes of the game while
scoring 11 points and adding three assists. Washington led the team with 14 points and chipped in nine rebounds. Redshirt freshman forward Dyana Pierre who has been on rebounding hot streak of late, pulled down 12 boards along with
her six points. The women’s basketball team will return to action
12:05 Saturday against Marshall at SIU Arena.