First-place Panthers too much for Saluki women

First-place Panthers too much for Saluki women

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

Northern Iowa earned at least a share of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 73-64 win at Southern Illinois on Thursday.

Senior forward Amber Sorenson hit 7-9 3-pointers, including 5-6 after halftime to power the Panthers (19-9, 14-3 MVC) past the Salukis (19-10, 12-5 MVC).

“That was probably the difference in the game,” junior point guard Rishonda Napier said. “We were scoring twos, and they were scoring threes. That’s just simple math, there. We didn’t defend the 3-point line like we needed to, and they made us pay for it.”

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As a team, SIU made one of seven threes in the game.

“They were letting us drive,” senior guard Cartaesha Macklin said. “They were just really face-guarding the threes. They knew that’s a strong part of our game … It wasn’t a good team execution. We weren’t finding the open people.”

Sorenson’s 28 points led all scorers. Junior guard Madison Weekly added 21 for the Panthers. Senior forward Jen Keitel posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Senior center Dyana Pierre led SIU with 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Cartaesha Macklin fouled out with 15 points.

The Panthers recorded 16 assists on 23 field goals. The Salukis had seven dimes on 23 baskets.

“I think Northern Iowa deserved to win,” SIU coach Cindy Stein said. “They had all the pressure in the world on them, and they performed. They were ready to play and did a great job, took us out of our offense, and they did a lot of scoring themselves.”

SIU can force a tiebreaker with UNI if the Salukis beat Drake at home Saturday and Northern Iowa loses at Evansville.

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307

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