Salukis chase down Panthers

By Symone Woolridge

Wins have been hard to come by in Coach Cindy Steins first season but behind a strong shooting performance and a dominating presence in the post, the Salukis picked up a 66-60 win.

SIU (2-6) had its first home game in more than a month when it welcomed the Panthers (3-6) of Eastern Illinois University to SIU Arena Monday. It was the Salukis second win this season and first home win for Stein.

The Salukis started the game on fire from beyond the arc, their first 12 points of the game came from 3-pointers.


Stein said she knows her team has the ability to shoot like that and hopes it continues.

“You should shoot like that at home, I hope we shoot like that at every home game,” Stein said.

SIU finished the game 7-for-21 from the 3-point line which is a season high in makes and attempts.

Senior guard Sidney Goins finished with 12 points including six in the first two minutes of the game. Goins said she didn’t shoot the ball as well on the road.

“It was actually a good feeling seeing the ball go through the hole, you get more confidence and it’s good for the team,” Goins said. “It’s really exciting.”

Sophomore forward Dyana Pierre continued her stellar play and paced the Salukis with 20 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double this season.

“I just can’t say enough how I feel like she (Pierre) can control a ball game,” Stein said. “She’s just a tremendous force inside.”


The Salukis finished the game strong and hit key free throws down the stretch to close out the game.

Sophomore guard Hannah Shores hit five of her last six free throw attempts to help ice the game for SIU.

Stein said she has asked Shores to be steady at the guard position this season.

“Hannah’s going to get better and better, I think she’s getting a little more comfortable with her leadership,” Stein said. “She knew she had to step up.”

The Panthers leading scorer, forward Sabina Oroszova, entered the game against the Salukis averaging more than 18 points per game but was held to only 11 in the loss. Sophomore forward Azia Washington along with Pierre made Oroszova’s night difficult as she was 3-for-11 from the floor.

The Salukis were without key players at the guard spot but the other players on the team were able to step up as SIU had four players scoring double figures.

“It’s going to have to be a total team effort, we don’t have anybody that’s just going to shake and bake, rock and roll with it,” Stein said. “We have to work hard to get our shots and get open.”

SIU will try to continue its momentum Friday when they take on Chicago State University at 6:05 p.m. in SIU Arena.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected] or @tdixon_de on Twitter.