W bball: Good Times Keep Rolling

By Gus Bode

The Salukis were focused on keeping Evansville in their rear-view mirror.

The Salukis (12-8, 8-1) defeated Evansville (12-8, 5-4), 69-55, to maintain second place in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Thanks to a game high 22 points and nine rebounds from senior forward Carlai Moore, SIU further distanced itself from the third place Purple Aces.


“We played at our pace; we didn’t try to rush it and handled the ball as well as we could. – Erica Smith

Unlike their last two games, both wins, the Salukis went into halftime with a 35-24 lead. After Moore’s shot with 8:47 left in the first half, SIU never trailed again.

In a post game interview, Moore said her big game came in light of a strong defensive team effort.

“Defensively, we were going after the ball and that’s where I get my energy,” Moore said. “I was out there grabbing defensive boards, coming out and just getting set on offense.”


Much like their previous two games, a well-rounded offensive effort paid off for the Salukis.

Junior guard Debbie Burris scored 17 points while sophomore guard Erica Smith tallied five points and added six assists.

The Salukis also benefited from a defense that held the MVC’s third highest scoring offense to only 24 points at the half.

In a post game interview, coach Dana Eikenberg said the Salukis’ defense kept Evansville off balance for most of the game.

“Against a team that’s very good with their sets, we would be able to secure the defensive rebound after forcing them to take a tough shot,” Eikenberg said. “We didn’t allow them, other than the early dribble penetration; we didn’t allow them to get into what they wanted to do.”

S. Illinois 69, Evansville 55 Saturday at Roberts Stadium SIU 12-8 (8-1) 35 34 – 69 UE 12-8 (5-4)2431 – 55

SIU individual stats Top scorer: Carlai Moore 22 Top rebounder: Carlai Moore 9 UE individual stats Top scorer: Robyn Jennings 12 Top rebounder: Robyn Jennings 4

Team Stats Field goal % SIU – 42.6 UE – 42.2

3-point % SIU – 33.3 UE – 20

Free throw % SIU – 85 UE – 75

Field goals-attempts SIU – 23-54 UE – 19-45

Rebounds (0-D-Total) SIU – 11-22-33 UE – 6-22-28

Steals SIU – 7 UE – 6

Turnovers SIU – 15 UE – 20

Coupled with tight coverage on the defensive end, SIU forced Evansville to turn the ball over 20 times. The tight defense turned into points as the Salukis scored 21 off turnovers.

SIU committed only 15 turnovers and won the rebound battle 33-28.

Sophomore guard Erica Smith said the ability to handle on-ball screens and to take care of the ball were important.

“That was one of the things we talked about at halftime – doing some different things with that on-ball screen that they run – and we were able to get in between and disrupt them,” Smith said in a post game interview. “We played at our pace; we didn’t try to rush it and handled the ball as well as we could.”