Southern Illinois loses to MTSU in nailbiter on the Road; Salukis fall to 4-4

By Cole Daily, Staff Reporter

 

The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team travelled to Murfreesboro, Tenn. in an effort to take down the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. SIU lost in the contest, 62-61. 

The first basket of the game was scored by Blue Raiders’ freshman center Anastasiia Boldyreva with a layup at the nine minute mark in the first quarter. She was immediately answered with a basket from senior center Abby Brockmeyer for the Salukis. 

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Southern Illinois struggled to take care of the ball early. As they committed three turnovers in the span of two minutes. 

The Salukis gained their first lead of the game after senior forward Mackenzie Silvey converted an and-one opportunity with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Freshman guard Laniah Randle also came off the bench and knocked down shots for the Salukis.

The play of both of these women would spark a run to give SIU their first sizable lead of the game, 14-8, with 2:29 left in the first quarter. They maintained this lead until the end of the first where the score became 19-13. 

The Blue Raiders tied the game up, 19-19, after two three-pointers on back-to-back plays. This forced SIU to call their first timeout of the game at 8:31 left in the half. 

Southern Illinois scored their first points of the second quarter at 5:16 left in the half, another layup from Silvey. Heroics from Silvey and Brockmeyer helped keep SIU in the game. 

MTSU’s defense did an incredible job of corrupting the Salukis’ passing lanes in the first half, this is why Southern Illinois netted a total of 12 turnovers. 

The Salukis tied the game, 27-27, with 2:10 left in the second quarter after a three-pointer by Brockmeyer. Brockmeyer didn’t slow down as she knocked in a shot from the mid-range with 24 second left in the half to put the Salukis up 29-27 heading into the tunnel.

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SIlvey and Brockmeyer combined for 20 of the Salukis’ 29 first-half points. 

They continued their dominance as Silvey scored the first points of the second half with 9:39 left to go in the third quarter. 

SIU pushed their lead to the biggest of the game after scores from Silvey, Randle, and Brockmeyer. They held an eight-point lead, 37-29, with 7:22 left in the third.

Southern Illinois led 42-35 at the first media timeout of the second half, which took place with 4:31 left in the third.

The Blue Raiders wouldn’t go away, as they went on an 11-2 run to regain the lead by the end of the third quarter. MTSU led 46-44. 

The pressure mounted as the Blue Raiders came out of the break and knocked down a triple to give MTSU a 5-point lead over the Salukis.

SIU senior center Gabby Walker took back the lead with two free throws to make the score 53-51 with 5:50 minutes left in the game.

Both teams scored one more basket before the final media timeout of the game at 4:10 left in the fourth quarter.

MTSU took back the lead at the two-minute mark with an and-one three pointer by freshman guard Jalynn Gregory. After this play, Brockmeyer turned the ball over which the Blue Raiders converted into another bucket. 

This became the knife in Southern Illinois’ heart as they fell down 61-57 with just over a minute left in the game.

The Salukis missed a shot with the opposing team grabbing the rebound. However, Mackenzie SIlvey managed to get a steal, and score a layup for SIU after a timeout break. The Salukis were only down two with 33 seconds left. 

They fouled MTSU’s Gregory, and she was forced to head to the free throw line. After she made the first free throw, she missed the second, which gave SIU the chance to tie the game.

Unfortunately, Brockmeyer missed the three-pointer on the other end to send the game to overtime. Silvey puts in a meaningless layup to cut the lead to just one. 

Middle Tennessee State beat the Salukis 62-61. 

Silvey and Brockmeyer were the engines of tonight’s game. Silvey put up 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals to assist her team. Brockmeyer had 19 points and 13 rebounds respectively. 

SIU will play the University of Illinois’ women’s basketball team in their next game on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. The game will be held at the Banterra Center. 

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

To stay up to date on all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter 

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