Daily Egyptian

Salukis fall short in late comeback against Northern Iowa

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

After letting their last game against Drake slip away in the final minutes, the Saluki women’s basketball team attempted to turn their fortunes around and complete a season sweep against the Northern Iowa Panthers.

Southern took on the Panthers earlier this season where SIU completed a comeback that took the game into overtime. In OT, the Salukis outscored UNI 11-4 and took home the first win of the season series.

SIU failed to complete the season sweep and fell to Northern Iowa (11-11, 7-4 MVC), 71-63.

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Northern Iowa, however, has been more successful on its home floor as they won 18 of the last 20 meetings at the McLeod Center.

The Panthers established their home-court dominance in the first seven minutes of the contest where they rattled off 12 points and held Southern to one field goal.

The Salukis struggled to find the basket for the entire period as they were held to just six points. As SIU slumped, UNI put up 18 points in the first ten minutes.

As the second quarter progressed, the Panthers continued to steamroll past the Salukis with seven points that established a 19-point lead.

Southern showed life late in the period and went on a 10-2 run led by sophomore forward Nicole Martin’s six points, bringing SIU within 11.

Martin went on to lead both teams in scoring with 22 points. She also collected three rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

The Salukis continued to fight for buckets as they went into halftime with a 34-26 deficit.

Southern carried its second-quarter momentum into the third as senior guard Kylie Giebelhausen put in a layup that sparked a 9-3 run and brought SIU within two points.

Giebelhausen finished second on team scoring with 14 points along with five rebounds and three assists.

Although it battled for the remainder of the quarter, Southern never claimed a lead. However, the Salukis tied the game at 47 going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was opened up with a layup by Martin that gave SIU its first lead of the game.

The Panthers — who outscored the Salukis 24-16 in the final quarter — responded quickly and reclaimed the lead which they never gave up.

Up next, SIU (12-10, 7-4 MVC) will return home on Feb. 9 to take on Illinois State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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