Saturday the Salukis shocked the world after breaking their eight game losing streak and battling through a 64-59 win over the Wichita State University Shockers.
The Shockers are ranked first in the Missouri Valley Conference and came into the game with an overall record of 22-5 and 13-3 in conference to the last place Salukis, who were 4-22 overall and 1-12 in conference.
SIU trailed WSU by 10 points four separate times in the first half.
Although there were three Shockers who scored in double-digits, sophomore center Dyana Pierre and sophomore forward Azia Washington led the Salukis.
Pierre was SIU’s leading scorer after marking her 20th double-double of the season with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Washington was the second leading scorer with 10 points and five rebounds.
The home team battled back and forth, decreasing the Shockers’ lead before letting it extend again. SIU never led until 3:56 left in the game, where they then held on for the win.
By halftime, the Shockers led 30-20. Although the Salukis trailed at the midway point, they never gave up.
In the second half, SIU trailed WSU by 10 points. In five minutes, the Salukis went on a 13-5 run to lead by three.
Near the beginning of the season, the women struggled to make a free throw. In this game, they shot 14 of 19 from the line, only missing one in the second half.
The second half was the Salukis’ time to shine. They even outscored the Shockers 44-29.
With just under four minutes remaining in the game, SIU never let its lead slip. This was the first women’s basketball win since Jan. 26.
“Tonight we put it all together,” Coach Cindy Stein said.
It was a memorable senior night for Jordyn Courier and Sydney Goins who won their last home game at the SIU Arena.
Goins collected nine points and Courier had two points. Courier had a big night Thursday, scoring a career high of 21 points.
“This team has a lot of great love for Sid and Jordyn,” Stein said. “They definitely wanted a hard-fought game, and they got the win because of it.”
Not only was the Wichita win great for the seniors; it also gives the Salukis a great amount of confidence going into the MVC Tournament.
Before the tournament, SIU has two road games. The Saluki women will take on the Loyola University- Chicago Ramblers and the Bradley University Braves.
The last time Bradley and SIU met, the two competed in a close-knit double-overtime battle where the Salukis came away with a four-point win.