Saluki women hold on to pick up win at Drake

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

The SIU women’s basketball team opened the Missouri Valley Conference season Friday with its first win at Drake since 2007.

The Salukis snapped a nine-game losing streak at the Knapp Center with a 77-67 win.

SIU (8-5, 1-0 MVC) outscored Drake (7-5, 0-1) in each of the first three quarters and withstood a late surge by the Bulldogs to secure the win.

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Drake whittled an 11-point Saluki lead to two points with two minutes remaining. SIU made nine of 10 free throws and forced six turnovers in the final two minutes win to pull away.

The first quarter saw five lead changes, and the Salukis clung to a 19-18 lead.

Drake took a 20-19 lead 43 seconds into the second quarter. A layup by SIU senior guard Cartaesha Macklin with 8:32 to play in the first half put the Dawgs back on top for good.

Macklin and junior guard Rishonda Napier led the Salukis with 10 first-half points each. Junior guard Caitlin Ingle led the Bulldogs with nine.

Drake junior forward Lizzy Wendell, who entered the game averaging an MVC-leading 20.9 points per game, scored two points in the first half.

The Bulldogs corralled 18 offensive rebounds to SIU’s nine in the first half. The Salukis improved on the glass in the second half by allowing only eight offensive boards and hauling in 14 after halftime.

The Salukis led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter.

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The Bulldogs entered the game with the Valley’s best overall record, a half game better than SIU and Missouri State.

Macklin led all scorers with 23 points and Napier added 20 of her own. Senior center Dyana Pierre recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

SIU junior forward Kim Nebo led all players with a career-high 15 rebounds.

Wendell led Drake with 16 points. Freshman guard Sammie Bachrodt led the Bulldogs with nine rebounds.

The Salukis continue their road trip at 2 p.m. Sunday at Northern Iowa.

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

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