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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

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Racers beat Salukis behind strong second half

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Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphoto
Jaidynn Mason (22) goes up towards the basket as the Salukis host St. Louis Dec. 9, 2023 at Banterra Center in Carbondale, Illinois

Jaidynn Mason scored 20, Laniah Randle posted a double-double, and the SIU Salukis fell to Murray State 75-70.

 

After a slow start for both teams to begin the game, Mason brought the Salukis to life, pouring in 8 points in the first quarter alone, and SIU held a slim 12-8 lead coming out of the first. 

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It was Randle who would score 8 in the second quarter, while Quierra Love chipped in 5 of her own to help stretch the SIU lead to 6. The Dawgs also locked down the Racer offense, holding them scoreless for over 5 minutes through the middle of the quarter.

 

The Racers, who possessed the number 2 offense in the country in points per game entering the game, could not be contained for the entire game. Murray woke up in the third quarter, matching their first-half scoring output of 23 in a single quarter, and held a 46-43 lead over SIU entering the fourth.

 

The Racers led for most of the fourth quarter before SIU, led by Mason’s 8 points in the frame, battled their way back to tie the game at 67 off back-to-back Paige Clubb threes with 1:21 left to go. Love hit a three with 28 seconds left to put the Salukis down 2, but the Racers were able to end the Salukis hope at a comeback when the Dawgs had to start fouling, going 3-3 from the line to put the game just out of reach.

 

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Murray State dominated the Dawgs in the paint; they outrebounded the Salukis 39-30 and scored 34 points against 28 in the paint.

 

The Salukis’ defense was what kept them in the game. 14 steals, including 3 each by Randle and Seairra Hughes and 5 by Mason, led to an impressive 26 points off turnovers, and 10 off fast breaks.

 

Murray was able to outpace SIU when it came to bench points, and though their shooting percentages were marginally higher, efficiency made the difference in the game; Murray, the number two team in the country in points per game, shot 50% on 27-54 from the floor as opposed to 43.1% on 28-65 from the floor for the Salukis. 

 

Randle grabbed 11 rebounds and put up 20 points to notch her sixth double-double of the season. Quierra Love posted 13 points and continued her recent elevated scoring, going over 10 points for fifth time in her last six games after only doing so 5 times in her first 12 games. Clubb, with 8 points, rounded out the top scorers for SIU.

 

The Salukis will have a short turnaround and be back in Tennessee for their next game, playing Belmont in Nashville at 2 PM on January 28.

 

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

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