Daily Egyptian

Dawgs extend win streak as Stein notches 300th career victory

By Thomas Donley @tdonleyDE, Daily Egyptian

Just two days after knocking off Drake, the Missouri Valley Conference’s top team, the SIU women’s basketball team kept momentum Sunday.

The Salukis (13-9, 6-5) defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers (12-10, 8-3), 79-75 at SIU Arena.

The win was the 300th of coach Cindy Stein’s career, which includes her victories at the NCAA Division II and NJCAA levels.

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The game had the makings of a classic from the start. The teams traded jabs early, resulting in four lead changes in a span of 48 seconds.

Junior center Dyana Pierre scored 6 points and hauled in 7 rebounds in the game’s first nine minutes.

The Panthers used a 15-2 run to pull away late in the first, but SIU closed the half on a 6-0 run capped by a pull up 3-pointer by junior guard Hannah Shores with three seconds remaining.

The second half saw only one lead change. The Salukis came out of the locker room red hot, extending their run to 15-0 to take a 6-point lead.

The Panthers tied the game 64-64 with 5:01 remaining, but never regained the lead. SIU fended off every Northern Iowa run to finish with a win.

Pierre ended the game with 26 points and 21 rebounds, both game-highs. Her 21 rebounds was also a career-high. Sunday marked the fourth straight game she recorded a double-double. Her 33 career double-doubles put her in sixth place all-time in MVC history.

Senior guard Brooke Brown led the Panthers with 18 points. All five Panther starters finished the game in double figures.

Stein summed up the back-and-forth game succinctly after the game.

“Holy sweat balls,” Stein said. “That was crazy, huh?”

Junior forward Azia Washington said the Salukis’ recent success against top-flight MVC teams is special, given their struggles last year.

“We know how it feels to walk off the court and lose by 30,” Washington said. “So to look at these same coaches and these same players that used to look at us like we were nothing and show them that we do know how to play basketball, it’s the greatest feeling ever.”

Stein passed credit for the win to her players.

“When our defense needed to get some stops, we did, and we hit some big shots along the way,” Stein said.

Freshman guard Kylie Giebelhausen recorded 4 blocks, one shy of her career high. Pierre recorded 3 blocks, all in the second half.

SIU is now on a four-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the conference and the team’s longest streak since the 2006-2007 season.

The Salukis play the Purple Aces at 7 p.m. Friday at Evansville.

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @TdonleyDE or 536-3311 ext. 269.

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