Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Lt. Col. Chay M. Derbigny will become commander and a professor of aerospace studies for Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 at 10 a.m. Friday, June 28, at Saluki Alumni Plaza, located between Woody and Pulliam halls on the SIU campus.
Murphysboro native named commander of SIU Air Force ROTC 
By Carly Gist, News Editor • July 15, 2024

Lt. Col. Chay M. Derbigny will soon take over as commander and professor of aerospace studies for Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 at Southern Illinois...

Marcus Domask (left) and Lance Jones (right) during a Purdue-Illinois game Jan. 5, 2024 at
Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Photo credit to Illinois Athletics.
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By Ryan Grieser, Sports Reporter • July 13, 2024

As the NBA 2K25 Summer League kicked off on July 12, three former Salukis began their professional basketball careers.  Though none of them...

SIU chancellor, Austin Lane, poses for a portrait in his office on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 in Anthony Hall at SIU.
SIU leadership gets bonuses, salary increases from Board of Trustees
By Carly Gist, News Editor • July 11, 2024

Three proposals received approval by the SIU Board of Trustees regarding salary increases for university officials at the July 11th meeting. The...

Salukis soar past Redhawks, start season 1-0

SIU Women’s Basketball wins its first game of the year
Seairra+Hughes+%2821%29+pulls+up+teammate+Shemera+Williams+%2811%29+after+being+pushed+down+by+a+Southeast+Missouri+State+player+Nov.+7%2C+2023+at+Banterra+Center+in+Carbondale%2C+Illinois.
Libby Phelps | @libbyphelpsphotography
Seairra Hughes (21) pulls up teammate Shemera Williams (11) after being pushed down by a Southeast Missouri State player Nov. 7, 2023 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois.

Quierra Love and Shemera Williams each scored 16 as the Saluki defense propelled SIU past SEMO 85-70 in its season opener on Tuesday night at the Bantera Center.

It all clicked for the Dawgs midway through the third quarter. With 5:28 to go and trailing by nine, SIU put on a defensive clinic, holding SEMO scoreless for the next five minutes.

“We’re definitely a good team with a lot of pressure, defensive pressure,” Love said. “It’s one of our big emphasis, so you should expect to see more of it.”

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The offense, which had been cold through the first half, roared to life at the same time. In just over a minute – powered by three pointers from Sydney Prochaska and Love, and baskets from Laniah Randle, Love and Seairra Hughes – the Salukis erased the deficit and themselves had a two-point lead.

Laniah Randle (4) makes a basket against Southeast Missouri State Nov. 7, 2023 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois. (Libby Phelps | @libbyphelpsphotography)

“We wanted to come out in the second half and get up in transition, and just do what we do,” Williams said. “And push the ball, and get open looks. Help each other. That’s what we really wanted to do the second half, and just run it up on them.”

SIU and SEMO both started the game trading blows, with eight lead changes in the first quarter alone. Williams had a quick five points, hitting two free throws and burying a three. Jaidynn Mason had seven points in the quarter, making two jumpers and a long-range three.

“Jaidynn Mason led us by coming up with some easy midrange baskets that kind of kept us in the game as we were trying to find our footing defensively,” head coach Kelly Bond-White said.

The first quarter ended with SEMO up 24-23. The Dawgs had gone a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and shooting 60% from three point range.

During the second quarter, the Saluki offense went cold, missing 10 buckets and shooting a dreadful 29% from the floor. The Salukis didn’t let their poor offense affect their defense though; they still forced seven turnovers and didn’t allow SEMO to pull away. At halftime, the Dawgs only found themselves trailing 41-37.

SEMO slowly built up a lead early in the third, but then came the Salukis’ dominant defensive run. During the suffocating stretch, Love and Mason combined for five steals, while Hughes made a crucial block. The offense improved, with the Dawgs shooting nearly 53% from the floor, including an even 50% from three.

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“Coach Bond, she talked to me, and she was like ‘hey, we need you, you gotta bring that energy,’” Love said. “And that’s what I did. My teammates backed me up 100%, and so, it was a fun run.”

SIU was able to put the game away in the final quarter. The offense remained red hot, shooting 75% from beyond the arc to wrap up a 9-for-17 night overall. The Salukis built a lead as large as 20 points behind this devastating offensive attack.

It becomes more clear how the Salukis won when comparing the points off turnovers and on fast breaks; the Salukis outscored SEMO 21-12 and 11-4 in those categories respectively. It also shows a lot of effort on the defensive end, with nearly 30 points coming because of defensive plays.

“Somebody walked up to me and was like ‘aw man, it felt like Floorburn U up in here tonight,’” Bond-White said. “And that means something to me, because when our kids start playing that hard, we know we can put some points up on the board, but when we starting getting those extra possessions, that’s what’s gonna help us.”

The Salukis will look to start a win streak when they take on Cornell at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Sports reporter Ryan Grieser can be reached at [email protected]. To stay up to date on all of your southern Illinois, be sure to follow The Daily Egyptian on Facebook and @dailyegyptian on Twitter.

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