Dawgs fight back to deny Ramblers first MVC win

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

Friday night’s women’s basketball game between SIU (10-9, 3-5) and Loyola (2-17, 0-8) took a while to get started.

The Saluki offense took even longer, but SIU pulled out a 64-58 victory to snap a three-game losing streak.

Three seconds after the opening tip off, the officials stopped the game for five minutes because the clock had not started. Once the proper time was determined, play resumed and the Ramblers took a quick 5-0 lead. They led the rest of the half.

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Loyola closed the opening period on a 5-0 run, capped by a buzzer-beating layup by sophomore center Taylor Manuel.

SIU trailed by as many as eight in the second half, but clutch shooting by freshman guard Kylie Giebelhausen and junior guard Cartaesha Macklin pulled the Salukis ahead for good.

Junior center Dyana Pierre scored 18 points and grabbed as many rebounds. Manuel led Loyola with 17 rebounds.

“We started out kind of flat,” Pierre said. “We knew we had to pick it up some way or another, and the results showed.”

Coach Cindy Stein said the win was not pretty for her team.

“I feel like I’ve got a real good-looking team, but I think we out-uglied them tonight,” Stein said.

Sophomore guard Taylor Johnson had a game-high 19 points for the Ramblers, 13 in the first half. Stein said senior guard Mercedes Griffin’s defense on Johnson was a key factor in the Salukis’ second-half comeback.

“Mercedes doesn’t get as much credit as she deserves for our success this year,” Stein said. “She is such a great defender. She doesn’t want to get beat. She just did a really good job of taking away what [Johnson] wanted to do.”

Loyola shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half to SIU’s 28.1 percent Those numbers nearly flipped in the second half, as the Salukis made half of their field goals and the Ramblers shot 29 percent.

SIU hosts Bradley (2-16, 1-6) at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday at SIU Arena.

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

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