Salukis’ late run falls short in loss to Evansville

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Salukis’ late run falls short in loss to Evansville

Coach Cindy Stein speaks to senior guard Rishonda Napier during SIU's 77-54 win against Wichita State on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at SIU Arena. Napier scored 18 points in the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

Coach Cindy Stein speaks to senior guard Rishonda Napier during SIU's 77-54 win against Wichita State on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at SIU Arena. Napier scored 18 points in the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto

Coach Cindy Stein speaks to senior guard Rishonda Napier during SIU's 77-54 win against Wichita State on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at SIU Arena. Napier scored 18 points in the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto

Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto

Coach Cindy Stein speaks to senior guard Rishonda Napier during SIU's 77-54 win against Wichita State on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at SIU Arena. Napier scored 18 points in the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

By Sean Carley

Neither team lit the nets on fire by any means Sunday, but SIU women’s basketball couldn’t muster up the offense it needed to walk away with a win.

The Salukis were held to 31 percent shooting, eventually losing to Evansville, 63-60.

SIU (8-10, 2-5 Missouri Valley Conference) never took the lead in the contest but got within one point of Evansville (8-10, 3-4 MVC) late in the second half.

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Back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore Olivia Bowling and senior Rishonda Napier got the Salukis within one possession.

Southern couldn’t get the stop it needed and after a layup by Aces sophomore Kerri Gasper pushed the lead to three, Napier drew back iron on the potential game-tying 3-pointer.

The senior struggled from the field all day, going 3-19 from the floor and 2-12 from deep.

She wasn’t alone in her 3-point struggles. Junior Kylie Giebelhausen went 3-11 from beyond the arc. Despite the poor shooting, she secured her second career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

SIU didn’t hit its first shot until more than halfway through the first quarter when senior Kim Nebo hit two straight layups. Evansville then went on a 8-0 run to build its initial lead.

The second quarter was the biggest dry spell for both teams as neither was able to score a point for nearly the first four minutes until Evansville senior Camary Williams got a layup.

Williams was part of the Aces’ three-headed monster in the game, tallying a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. She, Gasper and senior Sara Dickey scored 49 of UE’s 63 points.

Southern shot somewhat better in the second half, going from 22.9 percent to 33.3 percent. Its problem was that Evansville did as well, shooting 58.3 percent.

This is SIU’s fourth loss in the last five games. Its next chance for a win will come at 7 p.m. Friday when the team faces Bradley in Peoria.

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

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