SIU women’s basketball uses another fourth quarter comeback to defeat Wichita State


Junior guard Kylie Giebelhausen (32) attempts a shot while being guarded by SEMO senior guard/forward Olivia Hackmann (24) and junior guard Hannah Noe (25) during the Salukis’ 77-70 win Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, against the Redhawks at SIU Arena. (Bill Lukitsch | @lukitsbill)

By Sean Carley

For the second time in three games, SIU used a double-digit comeback to down a top-four team in the Missouri Valley.

Southern erased a Wichita State 10-point second half lead to down the Shockers, 61-58.

Through the first half, SIU (12-12, 6-7 MVC) held a one-point lead then everything went Wichita State’s way in the third.

The Shockers (11-12, 6-6 MVC) shot 64 percent in the third quarter after shooting 40 percent in the first half.

Junior forward Rangie Bessard scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the third. She also grabbed 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.

Meanwhile, SIU could only muster six baskets in that time to allow Wichita State to build its lead.

Despite the inconsistency in the second quarter, junior guard Kylie Giebelhausen stayed level-headed throughout. She scored a game-high 21 points on just 14 shots.

However, it was some of the names deeper down SIU’s depth chart that sparked its big comeback.

Sophomore forward Ashley Hummel hit two straight shots to begin the fourth quarter and continue what became an 8-0 Saluki run to trim the Shockers’ lead to just two. The teams then traded buckets with Giebelhausen and senior guard Rishonda Napier hitting shots to keep within striking distance of Wichita.

Napier made two 3-pointers in the game, giving her 256 in her career, the fifth-most in MVC history. In the second quarter, she also became the third Saluki to ever reach 400 career assists.

In the final five minutes, SIU went on an 8-2 run to take its first lead since halftime.

Freshman forward Caitlyn Claussen also made her second bucket of the game with 1:01 to go, giving Southern a 3-point lead.

Wichita had the final shot of the game, but junior guard Jeliah Preston’s last-chance 3-pointer couldn’t fall. It was the only 3-point shot she missed all game.

With the win, SIU is now a half-game back from both Wichita State and Indiana State for fourth place in the MVC. Four of SIU’s final five games are against the four lowest ranked teams in the MVC.

Southern will play only one game next week, a matchup at 6 p.m. Friday against Evansville (8-15, 3-9 MVC) in SIU Arena.

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

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