Salukis fall short in Windy City

By Symone Woolridge

After defeating the top team in the Missouri Valley Conference Saturday, the Salukis fell short to the Loyola University-Chicago Ramblers 67-56.

The game started close as the Salukis only trailed by four with eight minutes left in the first half but the Ramblers didn’t let that last long and pushed ahead, extending their lead to 25-15.

The Ramblers made it difficult for the Salukis to score and held SIU to only 19 points in the first half.  By halftime, the Ramblers were ahead 33-19.


Coach Cindy Stein has said the Salukis lack energy and must gain momentum.  Tonight, she said the Salukis were emotionless and needed to dig deep to find energy and fight back to win the game.

“They were blank in the face and they just have to play with emotion and a lot of passion,” Stein said.

As the second half began, SIU outscored Loyola 17-14.  The Salukis worked their way back into the game despite the 14-point deficit at the half.  SIU cut the Loyola lead to 11, but the Ramblers wouldn’t let up.

By the 8:35 mark, the Ramblers took their biggest lead, racing past the Salukis by 19 points.

Rambler senior forward Troy Hambric was the leading scorer for the home team with 20 points but sophomore guard Becca Smith set the tone and made it difficult for the Salukis to make a run.  Smith only had eight for the night, but she led her team with 14 rebounds and 14 assists.

Sophomore center Dyana Pierre led the Salukis for the third consecutive game after posting her third straight double-double.  Pierre scored 18 points to match her 18 rebounds.

Sophomore forward Azia Washington added 14 points and seven rebounds.


In the final minutes of the game, Stein got what she asked for and the Salukis cut the Ramblers lead from 18 points to within 11 points.  Although SIU gave it a try, the late run just wasn’t enough to take the lead.

The Salukis continue their road trip to the University of Bradley Saturday to play their last game of the regular season. SIU has only won one road game this season.

Last time Bradley and SIU met at SIU Arena, the two went into double-overtime with the Salukis claiming a 100-96 win.

This will be the women’s last game before the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, which begins March 13 in St. Charles, Mo.

Symone Woolridge can be reached at [email protected] on twitter @swoolridge_DE or ext. 536-3311 ext. 269