Missouri State offense too much for Salukis to handle


Senior forward Kim Nebo looks to put up a shot during SIU’s 78-60 loss to the Bears on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, at SIU Arena. Nebo scored four points in the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

By Jonathan Thompson

SIU women’s basketball couldn’t ride the momentum from Friday’s blowout win against Wichita State, losing 78-60 to Missouri State on Sunday.

The Bears’ ability to string together big scoring runs in every quarter, coupled with their consistent shooting throughout the game, was too much for SIU.

“I remember telling our TV people at Drake that with our team, we’ll have moments of brilliance and moments of devastation,” said Coach Cindy Stein. “With a young team, that’s kind of what you go through.”


The teams opened up the game neck and neck until Missouri State capitalized on some turnovers and went on an 8-0 run to create a 15-7 advantage.

Senior guard Rishonda Napier stopped the run with a fast break layup. She was aggressive in the first — scoring seven of the Salukis’ 11 first quarter points.

The Bears’s 50 percent shooting from deep and 47.4 percent from the field was a big reason they ended the quarter with a 24-11 lead.

Missouri State had three players in double figures scoring, led by junior guard Liza Fruendt with 22 points.

“We talk about [it] all the time, we’ve got to be a really good defensive team,” Stein said. “We’ve got too many fantastic shooting teams in our conference that we have to defend, and Missouri State is one of them.

The beginning of the second quarter went all Missouri State’s way, with their hot shooting from the first quarter carrying into the second. They went on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 19.

Things didn’t look good for the Salukis until junior forward Kylie Giebelhausen hit her first 3-pointer of the game. That sparked a 7-0 run, cutting the Bears’ lead to 12.

Missouri State’s balanced offensive attack was enough to get them a 38-26 halftime lead over SIU. All but one of the Bears’ active players had at least two points before the second half buzzer went off.

Senior forward Carlie Corrigan —who averages almost eight points a game for the Salukis — noticeably struggled in the game, missing all five of her field goal attempts.

“She’s used to being the sixth man coming off the bench,” Stein said. “She’s learning now how to be that energy person that communicated also, but as a starter and more of a leader.”

The third quarter followed a similar trend as the teams opened the second half by trading baskets until Giebelhausen made a 3-pointer. The Bears then went on a 9-0 run to give them a 50-29 lead.

Gielbelhausen and Napier traded baskets with the Bears, making the score 54-35 with 3:39 left in the third.

At this point in the game the two seniors were carrying the team, having scored a combined 27 of SIU’s 35 points.

Napier finished with 22 points and four assists. Giebelhausen had 13 points and seven rebounds.

By the time the fourth quarter came around, the game was all but over. The Bears started the final period with a 59-37 lead.

The Salukis didn’t roll over and started full court trapping through the game’s finish, but this was too little to late. The Bears left SIU arena with a 78-60 victory over the Dawgs.

“We’re having to play games at a higher intensity and urgency then what we get at practice,” Stein said. “We have to learn so much during the game of how to [play at a higher intensity] and I’m trying to get them do it at practice. That way we know when games are more comfortable with us.”

SIU will look to get back on track at 1 p.m. on Jan. 22 against the Aces in Evansville.

Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

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