Skyhawks hang on to hand Salukis 70-63 loss

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

UT Martin defeated SIU 70-63 on Wednesday in the Salukis second loss this year.

The Skyhawks (2-3, 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference) snapped a three-game losing skid.

Rushed shots led to a poor shooting percentage in the first half for the Salukis (2-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley Conference). SIU made nine of its 35 first-half field goal attempts and one of 14 from beyond the arc.


A 90 percent performance from the free throw line helped keep the Salukis in the game, but UTM held a 34-28 lead at halftime.

The Skyhawks entered the game with eight players dressed, a number that dropped to seven when senior guard Katie Schubert left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

Being shorthanded did not stop UT Martin from holding on for the victory.

The Skyhawks committed two fouls during the game’s final two quarters.

The Salukis went one-for-four from the charity stripe down the stretch after making nine of 10 foul shots in the first half. SIU was tentative to attack the zone defense UT Martin employed in the second half, opting instead to pass the ball around the perimeter in search of an open shot.

Conversely, UTM followed a four-for-six first half by making 10 of 13 free throws in the second to help seal the win.

Redshirt freshman guard/forward DaiJia Ruffin, who stands 5-feet, 9-inches, proved she can be a weapon for UT Martin with her back to the basket. She did the majority of her damage in the post, where SIU could do little to stop her.


Ruffin’s 22 points were a game high. Senior forward Haley Howard added 21.

Junior point guard Rishonda Napier led SIU with 14 points.

Senior center Dyana Pierre recorded her 40th career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Pierre got her Thanksgiving stuffing early, adding six blocks.

Senior forward Chelsea Roberts led UTM with eight rebounds.

SIU junior guard Carlie Corrigan tied her career high with 11 points off the bench.

The Salukis play at 2 p.m. Sunday at Memphis. 

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