Redbirds narrowly spoil Salukis’ streak


Lylee Gibbs @lyleegibbsphotography

Tyranny Brown (1) drives the ball down the court towards the Salukis basket Jan. 5, 2023 at the Banterra Center in Carbondale Ill

Saluki women’s hoops saw its three-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as the Illinois State Redbirds (9-5, 3-1) escaped Banterra Center with a 59-56 victory. The loss is Southern Illinois’s first in conference play, as it falls to 6-7, 3-1.

Paige Robinson scored the Redbirds’ final eight points, including a go-ahead three with 20 seconds left and two free throws to ice the game. She led Illinois State with 15 total points.

In a tight contest where both teams were dead even in rebounds (36) and turnovers (18), it was three-pointers that served as the biggest difference statistically. The Redbirds’ 31.8% performance from beyond the arc provided separation from SIU’s 21.1%.


While the Redbird lead never extended beyond seven points, the Salukis trailed for much of the game including the entire fourth quarter. Quierra Love’s three-pointer with 37 seconds gave Southern a late lead, although Robinson would take it back for good on the next possession.

Love finished with 11 points and seven steals. The latter broke a career high of five steals that was set only two days prior against Bradley.

Ashley Jones led the Salukis with 12 points, but ended 0-for-6 from the three-point line. Laniah Randle and Promise Taylor each pulled down eight rebounds, and Taylor came close to a double-double with 10 points.

Illinois State entered the season projected as the second-best team in the Missouri Valley Conference, and won the conference tournament in March 2022. Saturday’s contest was the first test of the Salukis’ conference schedule, as their first three games had come against teams projected below them.

The loss ends Southern Illinois’s three-game winning streak, and a span of five wins in six games. It also marks the team’s final home game for nearly three weeks.

SIU’s next four games will give them a tour of the Midwest with trips to four different states, starting with Missouri State on Jan. 11. The last three games of the road trip pits the Salukis against the new members of the Valley for the first time.

Staff reporter Brandyn Wilcoxen can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BrandynWilcoxen.


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