W bball: Salukis Tie For First

By Gus Bode

The SIU women’s basketball team sits in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference – with a little help from Evansville.

The Salukis (13-9, 9-2) led 40-28 at halftime Sunday at Illinois State (16-6, 9-2) and closed out the Redbirds in the second half. SIU never relinquished its lead in a 79-66 win.

The Salukis had a chance to pull even with then-first place Illinois State opening the door Friday with its loss to Evansville, SIU was defeated by Indiana State the same night, 74-69, keeping the Salukis one game back in the conference race.


The Salukis then had a second chance at moving into first place by playing the Redbirds.

Saluki coach Dana Eikenberg said in a post-game radio interview following Sunday’s win over Illinois State that she has a lot of joy in how hard the team worked after Friday’s loss to Indiana State.

“We really shut down a talented Illinois State team,” Eikenberg said. “Our defense plays an important role in what we do.”

SIU played a seven-player rotation but placed five players in double figures. Among the five, senior forward Carlai Moore tallied 22 points as the Salukis rolled over the Redbirds in Normal.

The Salukis held Illinois State to 39 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers.

The Redbirds have lost two games in a row at home.

“Our defense plays an important role in what we do.” – Coach Eikenberg


SIU was in the driver’s seat against Illinois State for the entire game, unlike its game against Indiana State.

In Terre Haute, Ind., SIU trailed Indiana State by 10 points at halftime of Friday’s game.

With 58 seconds remaining in the second half, the Salukis pulled within four points of the Sycamores on a shot from sophomore forward Jasmine Gibson. But unlike their last two games, the Salukis were not able to finish off their comeback.

With 19 seconds on the clock, junior Debbie Burris missed a jumper and Gibson went after the ball along with Sycamore guard Kelsey Luna.

Gibson received a loose ball foul on the play and fouled out of the game. Luna made both free throws and sealed the Sycamore win.

Gibson came off the bench and led the Salukis 15 points while adding eight rebounds.

S. Illinois 69, Indiana State 74 Friday at Hulman Center SIU 13-9 (9-2) 3039 – 69 INS 12-9 (5-5)4034 – 74

SIU individual stats Top scorer: Jasmine Gibson 15 Top rebounder: Jasmine Gibson 8 INS individual stats Top scorer: Leah Phillips 23 Top rebounder: Maria Olsthoorn 6

Team Stats Field goal % SIU – 39.1 INS – 47.1

3-point % SIU – 15.8 INS – 46.7

Free throw % SIU – 70.6 INS – 67.9

Field goals-attempts SIU – 27-69 INS – 24-51

Rebounds (0-D-Total) SIU – 21-19-40 INS – 12-24-36

Steals SIU – 5 INS – 1

Turnovers SIU – 10 INS – 11

Moore, who had 12 points and eight rebounds against Indiana State, said it was tough to make a clear call on the loose ball foul on Gibson.

“That call could have gone either way but that really wasn’t the deciding factor in the game,” Moore said. “If we showed up in the first half it wouldn’t have been an issue.”

S. Illinois 79, Illinois State 66 Sunday at Redbird Arena SIU 13-9 (9-2) 40 39 – 79 ILS 16-6 (9-2)2838 – 66

SIU individual stats Top scorer: Carlai Moore 22 Top rebounder: Erica Smith 8 ILS individual stats Top scorer: Kristi Cirone 22 Top rebounder: Megan McCracken 11

Team Stats Field goal % SIU – 58.2 ILS – 38.7

3-point % SIU – 27.3 ILS – 30

Free throw % SIU – 75 ILS – 70.6

Field goals-attempts SIU – 32-55 ILS – 24-62

Rebounds (0-D-Total) SIU – 7-24-31 ILS – 18-19-37

Steals SIU – 2 ILS – 5

Turnovers SIU – 12 ILS – 15

Early foul trouble buried the Salukis, who fouled the Sycamores 25 times while Indiana State only recorded 15 fouls.

Eikenberg said the foul trouble put the Salukis in a hole.

“We were in horrific foul trouble early. We were lazy and not aggressive enough in the first half,” Eikenberg said. “The team played much harder in the second half but we gave up too many points in the first half.”