Salukis torch Eagles in record setting game

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

SIU women’s basketball (5-4) beat Morehead State (4-6) Saturday and set a new school record for most points scored in a single game.

The Salukis beat the Eagles 102-69, led by junior point guard Rishonda Napier’s 22 points and 60 percent shooting for three-pointers. She was one of seven Salukis with double digit point totals.

“We were very relaxed and played really good defense throughout and I felt we had a really good performance all game,” Napier said.

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SIU started the game with a 10-0 run, led by Napier’s two quick three-pointers.

“This was definitely one of our more complete games we’ve played this year against a team that does a lot of things well,” coach Cindy Stein said.

Freshman guard Olivia Bowling finished with a career-high 11 points in her fifth career game.

“[Bowling] does a lot of good things for us and has the ability to run the offense,” Stein said. “She’s very good defensively and guards their players the full length of the court when we don’t even tell her to she just automatically knows.”

The Salukis played lock-down defense through the first half and the Eagles shot 29.3 percent from the field. The Dawgs shot 48.8 percent.

SIU took a 50-32 lead into halftime and not relinquish it the remainder of the game.

The Salukis controlled the tempo in the second half and as the lead built, the bench kept up the intensity, adding 23 points.

Stein said the bench played well.

“I thought no matter who we put in the game there was never a drop off in good play,” she said. “We’re actually a very good scoring team and I think tonight it showed with the kids we put on the floor.”

Senior center Dyana Pierre recorded her 1,000th rebound and became only the second Saluki women’s basketball player to do so after she grabbed a board midway through the third quarter. She finished the game with 14 rebounds. She’s one of six players in Missouri Valley Conference history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Junior forward Kim Nebo recorded her 100th point, becoming the 106th player to do so in SIU history. She finished the game with  14 points and eight rebounds. She’s now at 102 career points.

Senior guard Cartaesha Macklin, who finished the game with 13 points, said the team came in with something to prove after losing to Illinois last Tuesday.

“We definitely wanted to come out and show up and I think we did that,” she said. “It definitely helped with our team chemistry as we had everyone play and be on the court at some point during the game,”

The Salukis play Mercer at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 in Macon, Georgia.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 534-3304

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