Daily Egyptian

Women’s basketball: Dawgs fall to UNI in round one of Iowa Showdown

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

The SIU Women’s Basketball Team (10-9, MVC 3-5) was on the road again tonight as they took on the UNI Panthers (18-7, MVC 6-2), falling 65-53.

Tonight’s road game marked the start of the Salukis’ seasonal Iowa road trip. During the Iowa trip, the Dawgs are set to take on two Iowa conference rivals: the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University.

This game also marked the 73rd historic competition between the teams with the Panthers now holding a 39-34 advantage after tonight’s UNI win.

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Both teams entered the night coming off of two straight conference wins, each team looking to give the other a loss and take home win number three.

A layup from UNI guard Karli Rucker opened the scoring in the matchup. Rucker went on to finish the night with 11 points and six boards.

Junior forward Nicole Martin responded immediately on the very next play scoring a layup of her own in the paint. Martin went on to score eight points and snatch down seven rebounds.

Martin’s layup was followed by another from sophomore Abby Brockmeyer to put Southern up 4-2.

For the next four minutes SIU went scoreless, while the Panthers took off on a 5-0 scoring run to make the score 12-4.

This Northern Iowa run featured two jumpers from senior guard Ellie Howell. The final basket of the period came from junior center Lauren Hartman as she drained a jumper for the Dawgs to make the score 12-6.

A foul by junior guard Kristen Nelson allowed Howell to open the scoring for UNI in period two as she made one free throw out of the pair. Howell was the leading scorer for Northern Iowa with 18 points.

The next bucket came from Saluki senior center Celina VanHyfte as she drained a jumper in the paint bringing the score to 13-8 with the Salukis still behind.

The Panther offense seemed to be too strong for Southern as they went on another run scoring four unanswered baskets and solidifying a 23-8 lead.

A mid range jumper from Peyton McCallister pushed the SIU score up by two, but Rucker responded to this with a layup of her own to advance the panther lead, Van Hyfte attacked the rim to get to the foul line making one of two throws.

This gave the Dawgs an edge and they took off on a 6-2 scoring run, making it a five point game with just a minute remaining in the half.

A UNI layup and additional free throw by Howell closed the scoring for the half leaving the Salukis behind 31-23.

A back-to-back jumper and three point play from sophomore guard Makenzie Silvey opened the scoring for the second half and brought Southern within three points of the Panthers. Silvey was tonight’s leading scorer with 20 points and two steals.

Northern Iowa responded to Silvey’s baskets with a three point jumper and a fast break layup to gain some breathing room and make the score 36-28.

A jumper from Martin brought the game back within six, but Howell drained another three pointer to keep the Salukis at bay.

SIU fouls allowed the Panthers to shoot their lead up to 15 with the help of free throws and bring the score to 45-30.

A jumper from Martin and a three pointer from Nelson brought the Dawgs back within ten and sparked a comeback for Southern as they scored two more unanswered baskets before the period closed.

The score entering the fourth quarter was 39-46 with Southern down by just seven points. The Salukis entered the quarter with the same momentum they used to closed the third scoring a bucket within the first 40 seconds of the period.

Brockmeyer attacked the basket shortly after to get to the foul line and make the score 42-46. After almost three minutes without a basket, UNI went on a 4-0 scoring run to increase their lead to 54-42.

Howell scored two of the four baskets on this run posting her 18th point of the night. A pair of free throws by Silvey and another three pointer from Nelson brought SIU within seven, but two Panther baskets killed any chance of momentum.

With one minute left in the game, the Dawgs were left with no other option but to foul UNI in attempts to slow the clock down. In the final minute of the game, the Panthers went seven for eight at the foul line.

Hartman scored two layups during this time to add to the Southern effort, but Northern Iowa’s free throw makes discouraged the hopes of a Southern comeback.

Silvey closed the scoring for tonight’s game with a pair of free throws leaving the final score of the game at 65-53.

The Salukis will be back in action this Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa at 2 p.m. as the take on the Drake University Bulldogs.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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