Daily Egyptian

Saluki women take down Northern Iowa Panthers in overtime thriller

The Saluki women’s basketball team defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers (6-8, 2-1 MVC) Friday evening in overtime 60-53.

Southern entered the contest with hopes of winning its third straight conference game and maintain a flawless MVC record.

While the Panthers led the all-time series at 37-33, SIU has been successful at home with a record of 18-15 against UNI. Prior to Friday, the Salukis were victorious in two of the last three matchups at SIU Arena.

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In the first quarter, both teams traded buckets and the frame never saw either team take a two-possession lead.  After 10 minutes of play, Southern led 13-12.

The Panthers kicked off the second quarter with an 8-2 scoring run that gave them a 20-15 lead. Southern reestablished a 22-20 lead as it held UNI scoreless for the last five minutes of the half.

As SIU’s two leading scorers combined for only one point after 20 minutes, junior forward Celina Vanhyfte took the reigns and led the Salukis in scoring with seven points in the half.

“Different people are stepping up and making big plays,” head coach Cindy Stein said. “It helps when we have the overall ability to score the ball.”

Much like the first, the third quarter saw both teams trade points as neither squad ran away with the game.

Freshman guard Makenzie Silvey made her presence know in the third quarter as she scored seven points and became the first Saluki to reach double digits in the contest.

“Makenzie is fearless,” Stein said. “She could miss ten shots in a row and she will still believe that she’s going to make the next one, and she usually does.”

Southern held the lead for the entire quarter and headed into the fourth with a 37-36 advantage over the Panthers.

UNI began the fourth looking to put SIU away as it kicked off the quarter with an 11-5 run and established a 47-42 lead.

Southern refused to go down without a fight as it tied the game up at 47-47 with five unanswered points as the game’s final minute approached.

The Salukis received the ball for the game’s final possession. However, they could not capitalize and regulation ended in a 49-49 tie.

Silvey — who scored a team-high 17 points on the night — led the team to the victory with seven points in OT including the go-ahead 3-pointer.

“My teammates were doing a good job of setting me up and getting me open,” Silvey said.

Southern’s defense was the name of the game as the Salukis forced 17 turnovers, including 10 steals.

“We did a good job talking,” freshman forward Abby Brockmeyer said. “When we talk our defense is phenomenal.”

The Salukis (8-6, 3-0 MVC) will remain home for a Sunday tilt against the Drake Bulldogs on Jan. 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Sports reporter Dillon Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DillonGilliland.

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