Taylor drops triple-double as SIU dominates Evansville in wire-to-wire win on Senior Day


Lylee Gibbs @lyleegibbsphotography

Promise Taylor (55) wins the ball over for the Salukis in the tip-off against Isis Fitch (24) of Bradley University Jan. 5, 2023 at the Banterra Center in Carbondale Ill.

The Saluki women’s basketball team (11-16, 8-10) routed the Evansville Purple Aces (11-16, 6-12) on Saturday afternoon at the Banterra Center by a score of 105-59.

Southern celebrated Senior Day in a momentous fashion, with seniors Ashley Jones and Promise Taylor being celebrated pregame, and the team going on to control the game throughout. Every Saluki that played also contributed offensively, with every player getting in the scoring column.

“If this is the last [home] game…the only thing I wanted them to do was to make sure the crowd saw their heart,” head coach Kelly Bond-White said. “I asked our seniors to lead with their heart.”


Jones and Taylor answered the request of their coach, both scoring 20 points in the contest. Taylor also recorded an SIU record 10 blocks while grabbing 11 rebounds to record a triple-double in her potential final home game as a Saluki.

“I’ve worked really hard for this moment, so I’m really proud of myself,” Taylor said.

Coming into the matchup, these teams were primed for a much closer affair, as Evansville entered leading the Dawgs in the Missouri Valley Conference standings by a game. But with the Purple Aces’ leading scorer Abby Feit missing the game with injury and center Barbora Tomancova injuring herself in the leading minute of this one, it handicapped Evansville both offensively and defensively.

When Jones opened the game with a basket, Southern never looked back. They jumped out to a 20-6 lead quickly, creating turnovers and converting on open looks at the other end of the floor. Their defense was anchored by Taylor down low, as she collected five of her 10 blocks in the first quarter.

“She’s a force,” Bond-White said. “Every gameplan starts with Promise Taylor.”

The first quarter ended with the Dawgs up 27-12, but the Purple Aces began to get some rhythm offensively in the following period. Regardless, SIU resisted Evansville’s will to get back into the game, raining threes down to suppress a comeback attempt.  The half ended with the Salukis leading 52-33 after continued pressure on the Purple Aces to retaliate.

The second half was where Southern ran away with the game, doubling Evansville’s offensive output 53-26 overall. The Salukis shot 45-for-72 (62.5%) from the floor and 8-for-15 (53.3%) from three-point range in the game, led by Jones and Taylor who their head coach asked to lead in this regard as well.


“I wanted to do it efficiently. I told both of them I wanted over 50% shooting, and we were almost right there with both of them,” Bond-White said.

Jones and Taylor shot 8-for-17 (47%) and 9-12 (75%), respectively. Jones also dished out 8 assists that resulted in scoring for others like Jaidynn Mason and Quierra Love, who also both got into double figures in points.

“Our offensive output that you saw today is what this team is capable of,” Bond-White said.

SIU also forced 17 Evansville turnovers and held their opponents to 20-for-58 (34.5%) from the field. This effort on the defensive end led to easy shots the other way, especially in the fourth quarter where the game began to get ugly.

“We want to be disruptive on defense,” Bond-White said.

“I think it was a product of everything we worked on in practice,” Taylor said. “…It was just a team effort.”

Late in the fourth, the Salukis led by as much as 49. Their bench emptied but the effort and production remained constant.

“This is the first complete game that we’ve led from start to finish with the same intensity,” Bond-White said.

Southern will look to continue this level of play against their final two opponents of the regular season on the road. The first of these tough games will take place at the Northern Iowa Panthers (19-8, 14-4) on Thursday, March 2 at 6 pm.

Sports reporter Howard Woodard can be reached at [email protected]

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