On the road again: Women’s basketball goes 0-2 in Iowa

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

The Salukis (10-10, MVC 3-6) completed their Iowa road trip this evening in Des Moines as they took on the Drake University Bulldogs (16-5, MVC 8-1), losing the game 94-66.

Road trips have not been kind to Southern this year as their road record now sits at 1-8 for the season.

The Dawgs came into tonight’s matchup ranked 7th in the conference with five conference losses, while the Bulldogs came into the matchup ranked second in the MVC with one conference loss.

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After tonight’s conference loss SIU could fall into the eighth place MVC ranking, while Drake remains in the second place spot.

Tonight’s game was the 87th meeting of the two teams with Drake leading Southern 58-28 in the all-time series and winning 20 of the last 22 meetings.

Junior forward Nicole Martin opened the scoring for the game putting in a lay up in the paint.

The Bulldogs responded to this by going on a 4-0 scoring run to go up 8-2 on SIU.

A three pointer from sophomore guard Makenzie Silvey and a layup from sophomore forward Abby Brockmeyer made it a two point game at 7-9.

A layup from each team kept the score within two until a pair of free throws and two back-to-back baskets from Drake guard Becca Hittner put DU up 16-11.

The next Southern baskets came on a mid range jumper from junior guard Kristen Nelson and a layup from Martin. These baskets continued to keep the Dawgs within a five point distance of their opponents.

The final basket of the first period was scored by Drake as they got an offensive put-back. The score entering the second quarter was 22-16 with SIU falling behind.

Junior guard Becca Hittner continued to attack the Saluki defense in the second quarter immediately scoring on a three point play.

Turnovers by Southern gave the Bulldogs an edge and they scored two unanswered three pointers to take their biggest lead of the game at 31-16.

A three point jumper by Nelson kept the Salukis in the game, but Drake continued to attack the basket scoring on another three point play and stealing the ball to score a fast break layup.

Southern head coach Cindy Stein then called a timeout in attempts to help her team adjust to the aggressive DU offense and an immediate basket by junior center Lauren Hartman after this timeout seemed to be sending the Dawgs in the right direction.

After Hartman’s basket, Hittner drained another three pointer to score her 17th point of the first half and made the score 39-21.

Brockmeyer hit a three of her own in response to Hittner but the excitement of this play was short lived as she fouled Hittner on the other end of the floor allowing her to score on a three point play. Brockmeyer led the Salukis in rebounds with nine and also scored nine points.

Two pairs of free throws by senior center Celina Van Hyfte made the score 42-28, but the Bulldogs were still slipping out of reach.

A free throw from junior guard Brittney Patrick and back-to-back buckets from freshman guard Payton McCallister brought the Salukis within just ten points of Drake.

A Drake layup seemed to extend the lead once again, but McCallister responded to this on the next possession draining another three pointer to make the score 45-37. McCallister led the team in scoring tonight with 12 points and two assists.

The final basket of the first half was a free throw by Drake guard Sammie Bachrodt that left the score at 46-37 entering half time.

Hittner opened the half blocking a shot that was converted into a three pointer.

This three pointer seemed to bring even more life to the Drake offense as they continued to crash the offensive boards grabbing two in one possession and getting to the foul line to make one of two free throws.

Each team challenged the other on the defensive end and we saw back-to-back steals. While the Bulldogs were unable to score off of their steal, Nelson was able to convert her steal into a layup for Southern. An additional layup for each team brought the score 56-44.

Drake ended the third period on a 6-1 scoring run that featured five pairs of free throws shot by the Bulldogs.

Fouls were a large problem for the Dawgs this evening as two of Southern’s players fouled out of the game. This run created an enormous scoring deficit for the Salukis as the score at the end of the period became 68-46.

The first SIU basket of the final quarter came from Martin as she fought past her defender to score a layup in the paint.

Martin went on to finish with nine points and two rebounds. This bucket was followed by a pair of free throws from Brockmeyer and a three pointer from Silvey making the score 72-53.

Following SIlvey’s three point basket, Hittner scored on a three point play to notch her 30th point of the game.

Hittner’s three point play added even more momentum to the already aggressive Bulldog offense and they went on a 5-1 scoring run to extend their lead to 30 points. Hittner finished the game with 30 points and seven rebounds.

The Dawgs put forth their best effort to catch their opponent, but Drake proved to be too strong and continued to respond to every basket Southern scored.

Four Bulldogs scored in the double figures in tonight’s game. As time wound down in the fourth quarter, hopes of an SIU comeback disappeared and bench substitutions were put in.

Southern lost the game 94-66.

The Salukis will take the court again this Friday in Carbondale as they take on the number one conference seed Missouri State. Tip-off is set for 6 pm.

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

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