Daily Egyptian

Silvey leads Salukis past the Crusaders

Sophomore+guard+Brittney+Patrick+drives+the+ball+up+the+court+Sunday%2C+Jan.+21%2C+2018%2C+during+the+Salukis%27+74-63+victory+over+the+Valparaiso+University+Crusaders+at+SIU+Arena.+%28Brian+Mu%C2%96oz+%7C+%40BrianMMunoz%29
Sophomore guard Brittney Patrick drives the ball up the court Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-63 victory over the Valparaiso University Crusaders at SIU Arena. (Brian Mu–oz | @BrianMMunoz)

Sophomore guard Brittney Patrick drives the ball up the court Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-63 victory over the Valparaiso University Crusaders at SIU Arena. (Brian Mu–oz | @BrianMMunoz)

Brian Mu–oz

Brian Mu–oz

Sophomore guard Brittney Patrick drives the ball up the court Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-63 victory over the Valparaiso University Crusaders at SIU Arena. (Brian Mu–oz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Dillon Gilliland

Southern took on new conference member Sunday afternoon, the Valparaiso Crusaders, in their first matchup.

The Salukis were able to outlast the Crusaders (9-9, 2-5 MVC), in the Sunday’s matchup 74-63.

After dominating a majority of the contest in which Southern, built up an 18 point lead, Valpo refused to go down without a fight as they put together a 14-1 run that brought them within four of the Salukis.

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With time winding down Southern was able to scrap together an 11-2 run going into the final minute that helped them clinch the 74-63 win.

Freshman guard Makenzie Silvey got the ball rolling early for the Salukis as she sank two quick shots from beyond the arc that put Southern ahead 6-2 early in the quarter.

“My teammates were doing a good job of setting screens to get me open,” Silvey said.

Silvey went on to put a season best game as she finished with 19 points and six rebounds, both being season highs. Silvey also finished the contest with three assists as well as three steals.

“I like to call her Big Sht Silvey,” head coach Cindy Stein said. “She always seems to hit the big shots.”

Valpo fought their way back into the game almost immediately with a couple of threes of their own that put them ahead of SIU 8-6.

The remainder of the quarter saw both teams trading points as the score was 18-18 going into the second frame of the contest.

In the opening half of the second quarter, both teams struggled to put points on the board, however sophomore forward Nicole Martin pounded the ball inside scoring six of the Salukis first eight points to earn a 26-24 lead.

Martin finished the contest with 18 points and 8 rebounds along with two steals. Six of her rebounds came from the offensive end of the floor.

SIU continued to scrap for points as they outscored the Crusaders in the final minutes of the half 9-5, to go into halftime with the 35-29 lead.

Southern carried their momentum over into the second half as they kicked the quarter off with 9-2 run with three’s from senior guard Kylie Giebelhausen and Silvey along with an and one play from Martin to stretch their lead to 44-31.

After being down by as much as 18 points, Valpo began to battle their way back into the contest with a 14-1 run to bring them within five at 50-45.

Southern was able to hold onto their lead by the skin of their teeth as they went into the final ten minute period with the 54-50 lead.

The opening half of the fourth quarter showed both teams trading buckets with the Crusaders staying on the back of Southern’s heels.

Late in the fourth quarter the Salukis were finally able to create some wiggle room with an 11-2 run  to earn a double digit lead of 74-61.

“Coach Stein kept emphasizing defense,” Martin said. “When we play defense we can beat anybody.”

With three starters in foul trouble, SIU was able to hold on to their lead in final minute of the game as they went on to win the contest 74-63, earning their second consecutive win.

Southern’s defense was the key to their victory as they forced 14 turnovers with 11 steals while scoring 23 points off of turnovers.

“Defense wins championships,” Stein said. “Our defense had to pull through for us.”

Up next the Salukis (11-8, 6-2 MVC) take on Missouri State at home on Friday. The contest will be Southern’s Black Out Cancer game. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

“We can beat anybody when we set our mind to it,” Martin said. “We have all the pieces.”

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

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