Daily Egyptian

Salukis win, but Napier suffers injury

By Thomas Donley @tdonleyDE, Daily Egyptian

SIU women’s basketball (9-6, 2-2) won its first game in its new white home uniforms Friday night, but it may have lost its starting point guard in the process.

Sophomore Rishonda Napier left in the second half of the 65-53 victory against the Indiana State Sycamores (12-4, 2-3) with a shoulder injury.

Junior forward Azia Washington led the Salukis with 11 points and 4 rebounds in the first half.

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SIU took a four-point lead into the locker room, but quickly extended its lead to 51-34 on the strength of a 14-0 run, starting with 15:39 remaining in the game. Napier had 8 of her 14 points during that stretch.

The game took a scary turn for SIU with 8:28 remaining. Napier went down beneath a Sycamore defender and injured her left shoulder, silencing SIU Arena.

Napier, who was called for a foul on the play, went to the locker room for treatment.

She returned to the bench soon after with an ice pack on her shoulder but did not re-enter the game.

Coach Cindy Stein said after the game she told her players they might have to play without their starting point guard, but that no official diagnosis had been made.

“I want her to get a good look at the doctor before we make any [decision],” Stein said. “If anything good came out of it, it’s her left shoulder so she still has her shooting arm.”

Washington, who finished with a game-high 16 points, said her team did a good job of moving past Napier’s injury.

“Of course we were worried about her, but the game wasn’t over, so we had to fight,” Washington said. “We couldn’t worry too much about things we couldn’t control.”

Junior center Dyana Pierre controlled the boards in the second half, picking up 12 of her 15 rebounds en route to her 28th career double-double. She finished with 12 points.

The Salukis play the Evansville Purple Aces (9-7, 4-1) at 12:05 p.m. Sunday at SIU Arena.

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] 

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