Daily Egyptian

Salukis edge Racers despite slow first half

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

The SIU women’s basketball team continued its trend of saving its best basketball for the second half Wednesday.

SIU (3-3, 0-0 Missouri Valley Conference) defeated Murray State (2-5, 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference) 70-57 win at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

A 28-point third quarter propelled the Salukis to a .500 record this season, and dropped the Racers to five straight losses.

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Senior guard Cartaesha Macklin returned to the starting lineup and scored a season-high 24 points to lead all scorers.

The Salukis made four of their first five three-point shots to take a 12-8 lead in the first five minutes of the game. SIU cooled off, making four of its final 24 field goal attempts of the half.

Murray State held a 29-26 lead at halftime, led by junior guard Krystal James with 13 points.

SIU followed its eight for 32 first-half shooting performance by making 11 of 16 shots in the third quarter. The Salukis led 54-39 after the third quarter.

SIU attacked from all over the floor in the second half, pounding the ball inside with senior center Dyana Pierre and stretching the defense with outside shots from Macklin and junior point guard Rishonda Napier.

Macklin finished the game five of six from beyond the three-point line.

Pierre finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 21 points and nine boards.

James led Murray State with 19 points. Senior forward Kyra Gulledge recoded a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Salukis play SIUE at noon Friday at SIU Arena.

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

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