Women’s Basketball open Hoops in the Heartland Tournament with Start-to-Finish win vs Indiana State

By Joseph Bernard, Staff Reporter

Leading from start to finish, the Saluki Women’s Basketball team aced their first matchup against the Indiana State Sycamores in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Salukis won the matchup 77-61 and scored their fourth-highest point total of the season in the effort.

Another double-double for Graduate Student Abbey Brockmeyer led the way, with 18 total points and 10 rebounds. That makes for double-double number 15 on the season for her. Graduate Student Gabby Walker led the team in points with 20 to match her career-high in a game. She also added eight rebounds and a block as well. Graduate Student Makenzie Silvey rounded them out with 14 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.

Brockmeyer said it was crucial for the Salukis to outrebound the Sycamores in order to get the win.


“We know that they are a great rebounding team. Their posts go at it like nobody in the valley truly. So to get them in foul trouble early was huge for us because I felt like it limited their abilities to crash the boards hard. We were in there boxing out hard and dug hard to get those rebounds,” Brockmeyer said.

The Salukis jumped out to a 7-2 lead early but the Sycamores started to keep up with it. They kept the deficit under five points for the rest of the quarter and even got as close as a single point after a jumper made it 10-11 with 2:38 left in the frame. SIU would lead by three at 17-14 going into the second frame.

After a fastbreak by sophomore Quierra Love started the frame, the Sycamores finally tied it up at 19-all early in the second to keep pace. But then ensued a 13-0 run for the Salukis throughout the next three minutes that would give them their biggest lead of the game up to that point at 32-19. After going back and forth for a little bit on baskets, the Sycamores finished the frame with two baskets in the final minute to make it an 11 point game at 42-32 heading into the locker room.

Walker talked about what worked well for the girls once the game was tied up at 19.

“We did a really good job of limiting second opportunities for the other team. I also think we did great at utilizing our post. We also had people like Laniah Randle step up and we also had Tyranny Brown step up which added a second punch to us,” Walker said.

The Salukis wanted to put this one to bed early in the third and started with an 8-3 run to extend the lead to 16 at 51-35. Some back and forth action would occur once again, but the Sycamores would turn it on ending the quarter on a 6-2 run to make it an 11 point game once again heading into the final frame.

A three-pointer by senior Caitlin Link would start the final frame off. It was all too much for the Sycamores to come back from in the final quarter as they would find themselves in a deficit as large as 18 after a Payton Mccallister three late in the game. The Salukis would hang onto their large lead as they won this one with a 77-61 final score to move onto the semifinals.


Coach Cindy Stein said her experience helped her out when things got close early.

“Honestly I wasn’t really nervous when things weren’t going as well early. Obviously when you’re as old as I am you’ve seen everything. I knew our kids would start a little tight just because it was the first game of the tournament and they want it so bad. Our kids work so hard sometimes that adrenaline can almost be a bit too much. But I’ve never questioned this team’s heart and grit before,” Stein said.

The Salukis will play their Semifinal game for a chance to have a birth in the Championship game tomorrow against #3 Illinois State Redbirds. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 pm tomorrow.

Sports reporter Joseph Bernard can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @Jojobernard2001.

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