Salukis have just enough in the tank to beat Loyola in overtime

By Thomas Donley, @TdonleyDE

SIU women’s basketball team overcame a sluggish first half, but needed overtime to defeat Loyola 74-70 Sunday.

The Salukis (17-11, 10-7) finished the road portion of their conference schedule with a series sweep of the Ramblers (5-22, 3-13).

The Ramblers emerged from a sloppy first half with a 29-20 lead. Loyola made 11-of-14 first half free throws, while SIU made 4-of-8.


Senior forward Ariel Haynes led SIU with 4 points off the bench in the first half. Sophomore center Taylor Manuel led Loyola with 11.

Junior center Dyana Pierre played 9 minutes in the first half, picking up 2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 personal fouls.

The Salukis came out of the locker room hotter than a fox in a forest fire, making 16 of their first 18 field goals, including six of their first seven 3-pointers.

However, SIU cooled off during the rest of the game, and the Ramblers took advantage of a missed free throw by sophomore point guard Rishonda Napier. Manuel made a layup at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.

The Salukis made 8-of-17 regulation free throws, but knocked down 5-of-6 in the extra period. Senior guard Mercedes Griffin’s layup in the final minute was the game-winner for SIU, as Manuel would miss two layups on Loyola’s next possession.

Manuel led all players with 36 points and 11 rebounds. Napier led SIU with 20 points. Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin added 10 points and 7 assists.

SIU will finish the regular season against Illinois State at 2:05 p.m. Saturday at SIU Arena.


Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269.