Daily Egyptian

Women’s basketball: Salukis fall to undefeated Missouri State, 70-58

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

After a hard fought battle, the SIU Women’s Basketball fell to the Missouri State Bears, 70-58.

“That was a very tough game,” said Saluki head coach Cindy Stein. “Our kids worked their butts off. We were scrapping and we played hard.”

After meeting the Lady Bears for the 83rd time today in a series which dates back to 1971, the Salukis will continue to trail in the all-time series 54-29.

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Southern seemed to have the advantage tonight as they played the Lady Bears on their home court. The last five wins the Dawgs have earned over MSU have been at SIU Arena. The arena has been good to the women’s team this year as they hold an 8-1 record at home this season.

“I know we can compete with these teams, but we just have to be able to put everything together,” Stein said.

Despite MSU scoring the first basket of the game, the Salukis (10-11, MVC 3-7) came out of the gate with strong offensive play scoring four straight baskets to take a 9-2 lead over the Lady Bears (15-7, MVC 10-0).

“We know we can compete with anyone in the conference,” said sophomore guard Makenzie Silvey. “They’re undefeated and we competed with them for forty minutes.”

Southern’s powerhouse offense was a force to be reckoned with in the first quarter as they extended their lead to 19 points and held Missouri State to just 14 points.

Junior center Lauren Hartman had the final say in period one as she drained a three pointer from the wing just as time expired from the clock.

A blocking foul called on Silvey allowed MSU guard Danielle Gitzen to shoot a pair of free throws that opened scoring in the second quarter.

While sophomore forward Abby Brockmeyer was able to respond to these free throws with a layup, a foul called on her on the defensive end gave the Lady Bears another two free throws.

MSU, who remains undefeated in the Valley, began to pick up the pace and force the Dawgs to make mistakes scoring two unanswered layups to take a 22-21 lead over SIU.

After a Southern timeout, the Dawgs came out with energy on the offensive and defensive ends earning a stop and converting it into basket to take the lead. 

Brockmeyer was at the head of the Saluki charge scoring two back-to-back layups gave her her eighth point of the first half.

The lead switched back and forth between the two teams in the remaining minutes of the quarter until an offensive putback by the Lady Bears gave them the final lead of the half.

“They got 14 offensive rebounds,” Silvey said. “That’s just way too many to give up. Second chance points really hurt us.”

Stein said there are things the team needs to continue to work on.

“Offensive boards and untimely turnovers is something we have to clean up,” Stein said.

A layup by junior forward Nicole Martin closed scoring in the half and made it a one point game at 31-30.

Weaving through three defenders Silvey scored her seventh point of the game and opened the scoring for the third period.

Two unanswered baskets scored by the Lady Bears gave them a 36-34 lead over the Dawgs, but a three point basket by Silvey cut the MSU lead down to one.

Missouri State’s quick moving offense continued to take the ball at Southern’s defense forcing fouls and scoring baskets to extend their lead. A pair of free throws by MSU’s Brice Calip gave the Lady Bears their biggest lead of the game at 43-35.

The SIU offense hit somewhat of a drought going scoreless for almost three consecutive minutes. 

While a layup from Martin broke the drought, the Lady Bears were already on a roll scoring another three point basket to extend their lead to ten.

The Dawgs refused to give up scoring back-to-back baskets to bring the MSU lead back down to four.

While the Salukis maintained a good shooting percentage throughout the game, fouls seemed to be their kryptonite as they totaled seven fouls in the third quarter alone.

“I feel like we worked hard defensively but we probably had too many fouls,” Stein said. “The fouls usually came when they were grabbing offensive boards.”

Scoring in the third quarter was closed by another pair of Calip free throws giving Missouri State a 49-43 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Period four opened the same way as period three ended, with another pair of Calip free throws to continue extending Missouri State’s lead.

Martin did her best to pick up the Southern scoring slack putting up three baskets, but the Lady Bears refused to give up their lead.

These baskets closed Martin’s scoring for the night as she finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Silvey scored her 15th point on a left hand layup and brought the score to 50-58 with just four minutes remaining in the game.

Brittney Patrick made another layup for SIU to cut the Missouri lead down to six, but a three pointer from the Lady Bears brought the lead back up to eight.

Another quick score from MSU pushed the lead to ten slimming down the Salukis’ chances of making a comeback.

Junior guard Kristen Nelson drained a three pointer from the top of the key for the Dawgs with just over a minute left in the half to bring the score to 64-56.

A foul was called on Silvey with 28 seconds left in the game giving her her fifth personal and fouling her out of the game.

“I think the turnovers and offensive rebounds are what killed us tonight,” Silvey said. “I think that’s what we’ll working on in practice this week as we prepare for our next opponents.”

A pair of Lady Bear free throws brought the score to 70-58 officially sealing the Dawgs fate.

“I think we learned a lot from this game,” Silvey said. “They’re a solid team and hopefully we see them in the MVC tournament.”

Southern will take their home floor again next Friday as they take on the Bradley University Braves. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

“There’s some things that we’re doing better and some things that we have to clean up,” Stein said. “We’re going to stay focused on getting better and staying positive with this team.”

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

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