SIU Women’s Basketball wins first game of Compass Challenge against Eastern Illinois

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

The Salukis women’s basketball team traveled to Macomb, IL on Friday, Dec. 3 to take place in the Compass Challenge. Their first opponent in the tournament was Eastern Illinois, who they beat 74-66.

Southern Illinois won the tip, but after Eastern Illinois stopped the Salukis, they were able to get the first points on the board. SIU answered quickly after a spinning hook shot from senior forward Abby Brockmeyer with 9:09 left in the first quarter.

The game was a back and forth battle up until the first media timeout with 3:28 left in the first quarter. The Panthers held the lead 10-8.

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After the media timeout, Eastern Illinois went on a short runwhere they were able to jump out to a 15-8 lead. But Southern Illinois came back and made the score 17-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Although the Panthers were ahead, Brockmeyer had put the team on her back. She had half of the Salukis’ first-quarter points with eight. This was just the beginning for Brockmeyer on the night.

The second quarter was more of the same for both programs. Every time EIU scored a basket, Southern Illinois answered with one of their own. The Panthers still led by the second media timeout, 29-27, with 4:37 left in the first half.

Senior forward Payton McCallister knocked down a corner three for the Salukis with 3:28 left in the half to help give her team momentum on the offensive end.

The Panthers went up 36-30 with less than three minutes in the half, but after more heroics from Brockmeyer, the team closed the gap to 40 apiece by halftime.

Brockmeyer scored the first points of the second half, which gave her eighteen at this point in the game. It was scored on the Salukis’ first possession of the second half with 9:46 left in the third quarter.

Both teams continued to put points on the board without gaining an edge over the opponent. Eastern Illinois had a tight lead, 49-48, with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

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The Salukis gained some momentum during the last few minutes of the third quarter and gained a 60-56 lead. With one quarter left to play, Brockmeyer had amassed 29 points.

With 4:26 left in the game, Brockmeyer scored her 33rd point which put the Salukis up 68-60. And after senior forward Makenzie Silvey followed that up with a layup of her own, SIU held the first double-digit lead of the game.

After this, SIU didn’t leave its foot off the gas pedal. The Salukis won 74-66.

Brockmeyer recorded 34 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Senior center Gabby Walker was the team’s second-leading scorer with 15 points on the night. She also led the team in assists with six.

The Salukis play their next game on Saturday, Dec. 4 against the winner of the game between Northern Illinois and Western Illinois.

Sports Reporter Cole Daily can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at cdaily_de

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