Daily Egyptian

SIU women’s basketball dominates with team victory over Brescia

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Freshman forward Tiajaney Hawkins (22) puts up a shot over William Woods freshman guard Kaycee Gerald (12) and senior forward Kelsey Scherder (21) during the Salukis' 78-58 win over the William Woods Owls on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, at the SIU Arena. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Freshman forward Tiajaney Hawkins (22) puts up a shot over William Woods freshman guard Kaycee Gerald (12) and senior forward Kelsey Scherder (21) during the Salukis' 78-58 win over the William Woods Owls on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, at the SIU Arena. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

Freshman forward Tiajaney Hawkins (22) puts up a shot over William Woods freshman guard Kaycee Gerald (12) and senior forward Kelsey Scherder (21) during the Salukis' 78-58 win over the William Woods Owls on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, at the SIU Arena. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

By Sean Carley

After a tough loss to SIUE on Wednesday, SIU women’s basketball needed a win to get its confidence back. A 104-35 win against Brescia University did the trick.

“We’ve got to continue to mature as a team and get over that loss … and regroup,” SIU coach Cindy Stein said. “I think this was a good game to regroup.”

The 104 points is a program record, breaking the previous record of 102 set last season against Morehead State. The 69-point winning margin is also a school record.

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Saluki freshmen accounted for 56 points in Saturday’s game, led by forward Nicole Martin’s 17. She also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double.

“This was a good game for us to have this time of the season,” Stein said. “We know we need to get our younger kids more reps, but we haven’t had that cushion in games to do that so this was a good time to get them out there.”

SIU (3-2) had six players in double figures and each Saluki to dress in the game scored at least three points. Those among Martin to set career-highs in the game were redshirt freshman forward Tiajaney Hawkins (12), freshman guard Kristen Nelson (13) and sophomore forward Ashley Hummel (10).

Senior guard Rishonda Napier was able to break her cold shooting streak, making four of her six shots and three of five from behind-the-arc.

“I was sitting next to [sophomore guard Olivia Bowling] and I said, ‘You’re going to go in soon, but I need Rishonda to get in a little bit of a groove,'” Stein said. “I think she needed that.”

NAIA Brescia (1-8) was able to take a 9-8 lead thanks to its hot start from sophomore guard Catherine Dunn, scoring seven points in just more than four minutes. She would be the only Bearcat to hit more than one field goal and score more than six points, ending up with 18.

The Salukis then closed the first quarter on a 15-0 run to hold a 23-9 lead at the end of the quarter. Stein said she wanted to dictate the tempo defensively and did so, holding the Bearcats to 11.1 percent shooting after the first quarter.

The rout was on from that point, outscoring Brescia by at least 13 points in each of the remaining quarters.

SIU played as a team all game, earning assists on 29 of its 37 baskets.

“We have really good passers on our team,” Stein said. “Nelson had a couple passes that were excellent, [freshman guard] Brittney Patrick same thing, [Olivia] Bowling is a good passer. That was something that we have recruited, and its just going to get better and better as they get more time playing with each other.”

The Dawgs will travel to Tennessee-Martin for a matchup with the Skyhawks at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU basketball news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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