Daily Egyptian

SIU women’s basketball splits weekend with loss to Indiana State

By Sean Carley

Two big runs in the first half were all Indiana State needed to separate itself from SIU and leave Carbondale with a victory.

2017 got off to a sour start for the Salukis as they dropped a New Year’s matchup with Indiana State, 68-53.

Indiana State (7-6, 1-1 Missouri Valley Conference) used back-to-back runs of 15-5 and 13-2 in the first and second quarters to turn what was a five-point Saluki lead into a 13-point for the Sycamores.

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SIU (7-6, 1-1 Missouri Valley Conference) went 4-10 from the floor with five turnovers during that span.

Shooting was a big problem overall Sunday for the Salukis as the team shot 33.3 percent overall and 28.6 percent from behind-the-arc.

Senior guard Rishonda Napier and junior guard Kylie Giebelhausen were the only SIU players to reach double figures at 16 and 11 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Sycamore junior forward Ashley Taia put up a career-high 26 points with seven rebounds. She was joined by sophomore guard Tiarra Webb with 16 points.

Indiana State senior forward Rhagen Smith (45) stretches between quarters during the Salukis' 68-53 loss to the Indiana State Sycamores on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at SIU Arena. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

The Salukis tried to make it interesting in the fourth, using a pair of layups from freshman forward Lauren Hartman and a Napier 3-pointer cut the lead to seven with just more than seven minutes left.

Taia and the Sycamores quickly extinguished those hopes with a 10-2 run to put the game at its final 15-point margin.

Indiana State used its speed and size well in the game.

The two teams were relatively close in the turnover column with ISU committing one less than SIU (12-13), but the Sycamores were able to convert their takeaways into points. ISU scored 17 points off turnovers to SIU’s seven.

Indiana State also dominated the interior, outscoring SIU 34-18 in the paint.

The Salukis will try to earn their second conference win at 7 p.m. Friday when they face Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

Staff writer Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SeanMCarley.

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

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