Shockers fend off Dawgs to stay in first

By Thomas Donley, @TdonleyDE

The SIU women’s basketball team suffered its second loss in as many games Sunday at the hands of Wichita State.

The Shockers (22-4, 13-1) fought off surges by the Salukis (15-11, 8-7) to win 69-61.

Wichita State appeared to have the game in control late in the first half, jumping out to a 32-22 lead after a 12-0 run. A subsequent 8-0 run by SIU, led by 5 points from junior guard Cartaesha Macklin, shortened the gap. Wichita State led 34-30 at halftime.

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WSU senior guard Alex Harden led all scorers with 15 points at halftime. Freshman guard Kylie Giebelhausen and junior forward Azia Washington paced the Salukis with 8 each.

Junior center Dyana Pierre scored on SIU’s first possession of the second half to cut the score to 34-32, which was as close as the Salukis would come. Sophomore point guard Rishonda Napier went on a personal 10-4 run to cut the Shocker lead back to four points with six minutes left, but Wichita State pulled away to keep its first-place hold on the MVC.

The Shockers scored 23 points off 17 Saluki turnovers and had 6 turnovers itself. 

Wichita State outscored SIU 50-23 in the paint. The Shockers took only 8 3-pointers all game.

Harden led all scorers with 25 points. Pierre and Napier led SIU with 16. Pierre also recorded 10 rebounds for her 36th career double-double.

Napier said Wichita State’s athleticism gave it a defensive advantage.

“They’re just really physical,” Napier said. “They beat us to our spots.”

SIU coach Cindy Stein said the conference’s top team simply outplayed hers Sunday.

“Today was a very frustrating game, but I give all the credit to Wichita State,” Stein said.

The Salukis’ final three games of the year will come against the MVC’s three worst teams. SIU plays the Bradley Braves (5-20, 4-10) at 7 p.m. Friday in Peoria. 

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

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