Daily Egyptian

Saluki women’s basketball completes sweep of Sycamores

Members+of+the+Saluki+women%27s+basketball+team+celebrate+after+a+basket+Thursday%2C+March+1%2C+2018%2C+during+the+Salukis%27+54-43+victory+against+the+Sycamore+at+SIU+Arena.+%28Dylan+Nelson+%7C+%40Dylan_Nelson99%29%0A%0A
Members of the Saluki women's basketball team celebrate after a basket Thursday, March 1, 2018, during the Salukis' 54-43 victory against the Sycamore at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

Members of the Saluki women's basketball team celebrate after a basket Thursday, March 1, 2018, during the Salukis' 54-43 victory against the Sycamore at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

Dylan Nelson

Dylan Nelson

Members of the Saluki women's basketball team celebrate after a basket Thursday, March 1, 2018, during the Salukis' 54-43 victory against the Sycamore at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

The Saluki women’s basketball team hosted the Indiana State Sycamores for its second to last home game of the season on Thursday evening.

In a tough defensive battle, SIU was able to hold off the Sycamores (11-17, 9-8 MVC), 54-43.

After an early bucket from freshman guard Makenzie Silvey appeared to spark the offense, both teams struggled to score for the remainder of the first quarter. Silvey went on to finish the game with eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

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“We started out flat,” head coach Cindy Stein said. “But we had some defensive plays that helped get our offense going.”

However, it was the Salukis who won the quarter as freshman forward Abby Brockmeyer sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave Southern the 12-5 advantage.

Brockmeyer led SIU in scoring with 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Early in the second quarter, Indiana State began to show some life with a 6-2 run via back-to-back 3-pointers that brought the deficit to three points.

Despite the efforts of the Sycamores, SIU held on to its lead and entered the locker room with a 26-21 advantage.

Southern struggled on the boards and was out-rebounded by the opposition, 24-17. SIU allowed eight offensive rebounds which resulted in seven second-chance points.

“We gave up too many offensive rebounds,” Silvey said. “They took long shots and it allowed long rebounds.”

The Dawgs also struggled to take care of the ball as they gave up seven turnovers in the first half. However, they still managed to net seven assists in the half.

Dylan Nelson
Members of the Indiana State women's basketball team hold pinkies Thursday, March 1, 2018, before the Salukis' 54-43 victory against the Sycamore at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @Dylan_Nelson99)

The third quarter saw both teams trade buckets as neither side pulled away with the game.

Southern held its lead for the entire quarter and went into the final ten-minute frame with a 38-31 advantage.

Almost immediately in the fourth quarter, SIU stretched its lead to double digits with an and-one play from sophomore forward Nicole Martin. At the line, Martin capitalized on the free throw and increased the lead to 43-33.

Martin finished with ten points, five rebounds and with two steals.

Indiana State looked to make a late comeback as it put together a 9-4 run that brought the Sycamores within five with only four minutes left in regulation.

The Salukis responded with seven unanswered points and increased the lead to 12 with one minute remaining.

Southern held on to earn the 54-43 win and completed the sweep the Sycamores in the season series.

SIU’s defense was the deciding factor in the contest as it forced 17 turnovers, nine via steals.

“Defense has been our main emphasis,” senior guard Kylie Giebelhausen said. “We just wanted to get stops.”

On the offensive side, Southern found most of its success in the paint as the Salukis put up 30 points when close to the basket.

“We did a better job of getting the ball to the post,” Stein said. “Our post players are doing a better job of reading what the defense is giving to them.”

The Salukis (15-13, 10-7 MVC) will remain at home and finish out the regular season on Saturday against the Evansville Purple Aces for Senior Night. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 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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