Salukis lose by 11 points to the Panthers

By Janae Mosby, Staff Reporter

In one of the last games of the regular season Saluki women’s basketball (8-14, 5-12 MVC) suffered an 11-point loss against the University of Northern Iowa (13-11, 10-7 MVC) on Mar. 5.

After remaining close to the Panthers for most of the game, a 12-point run from senior guard Karli Rucker at the end of the game gave the Panthers a large lead making it impossible for the Salukis to catch up.

Caitlin Link (5) dribbles the ball against the Northern Iowa Panthers on Friday, Mar. 5, 2021 at the SIU Banterra Center in Carbondale Ill. (Monica Sharma | @mscli_cks )

“It just came down to execution, you know, we had some untimely turnovers where we didn’t get a good possession and we had to get stops,” head coach Cindy Stein said.


Rucker led scoring for the Panthers with 23 points and senior guard Makenzie Silvey led scoring for the Salukis with 17 points.

“Makenzie is playing fantastic and I love the way she is playing. She keeps grinding it out and Gabby is getting good possessions for us,” Stein said.

Silvey also led Southern in rebounds with 12, while senior forward Bre Gunnels led for Northern Iowa with 12. 

Northern Iowa took a quick lead in the first quarter with scoring from senior guard Karli Rucker, senior forward Bre Gunnels and junior guard Kam Finley, making the score 9-8.

The Salukis fought and took the lead with two minutes left in the quarter, with layups from Silvey and redshirt senior forward Gabby Walker, bringing the score to 12-9.

UNI finished the first quarter with baskets from Rucker and freshman guard Emerson Green, taking back the lead 13-12.

Scoring went back-and-forth between both teams at the start of the second quarter, but the Panthers managed to stay ahead of SIU, 19-16, after a layup from Finley.


UNI continued lengthening their lead with a basket from Grace Boffeli and a basket and two free throws from Megan Maahs, making the score 27-18.

Two free throws and a layup from Finley ended the second quarter for the Panthers giving them the lead 31-21 at halftime. 

Finley led scoring for UNI at the half with 10 points and Silvey led scoring for the Salukis with six points.

Southern continued fighting to decrease the Panther’s lead in the third quarter with scoring from junior guard Payton McCallister, Silvey and freshman guard Adrianna Katcher, making the score 39-37.

Despite the Salukis offensive efforts, like free throws from Silvey and a layup by Walker, Northern Iowa kept the lead at the end of the quarter 45-41.

“We have to continue to make those free throws. If we make those free throws when we should, then it puts a lot more pressure on their offensive,” Stein said.

Both teams traded three-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter, the Panthers continued with the lead 50-45.

SIU cut Northern Iowa’s lead to two points after a layup from Silvey and a free throw from junior guard Caitlin Link, bringing the score to 50-48.

The Salukis and the Panthers scored back-to-back in the last minute of the game, but Rucker went on a 12-point scoring run which secured the victory for UNI, 67-56.

The Salukis will face the Panthers again on Mar. 6 at the Banterra Center at 4 p.m.

Staff reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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