SIU takes second consecutive road loss

SIU takes second consecutive road loss

By Symone Woolridge

In their second trip away from home, the women of Saluki basketball weren’t able to make crucial shots, resulting in their largest point-loss of the season.

Matched against a strong team with a 4-1 record, the University of Illinois defeated SIU 78-43.

SIU came out strong against Illinois, but quickly let the short deficit slip away.


The Salukis couldn’t hit a shot from the outside as they went 7-35 in field goals and 1-12 behind the three point line in the first half alone.

Sophomore forward Dyana Pierre led SIU, capturing her third double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Pierre has scored double digits in every game played of the season.

“I’ve just been trying to work on my game a little more,” Pierre said. “Defensively, I need to be more vocal and coach tries to get that out of me.”

Illinois did not shoot well from outside, shooting a massive 31-79 in field goals. Although they only shot 39.2 percent from the field, their key players stepped up and tallied 46 points in the paint.

The Illini walked away with four players in double digits, including 6-foot-3 freshman forward Jacqui Grant, who led her team with 15 points.

The women in orange didn’t give the Salukis a chance to lead. By the end Illinois had outscored SIU by 39 points.


Sophomore forward Azia Washington was the second leading scorer for SIU. Washington scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds. She also shot 2-3 in field goals and made 4-6 at the free throw line.

“I think I took pretty smart shots and actually made my free throws count this time,” Washington said. “It’s my defense that needs to get better, I just need to move when the ball is moved and actually run to a spot instead of just shifting.”

Washington said Illinois is a great defensive team, and utilizes height to their advantage. The team stands fairly tall, with a 5-foot-7 guard as their shortest player.

Prior to playing SIU, Illinois averaged over 90 points per game. The Salukis held them to only 78. Both teams attempted 18 three-point shots. The Salukis could only knock down one, shooting 5.6 percent behind the line and the Illini only scored four, shooting 22.2 percent behind the arc.

“They’re beatable,” Pierre said. “There were just times where we just broke down a little bit.”

Head coach Cindy Stein said the Salukis attacked the basket as they should’ve, but making shots was just something they couldn’t do. Even in warm-ups, SIU still couldn’t hit outside shots.

“Honestly we had a lot of open shots, we just missed them,” Stein said. “Sometimes we took shots too early in the offense but we were wide open, if we hit those it’s a different story.”

Illinois defeated their most recent opponent, Alcorn State, 112-28. Three of the Illini women scored a combined 43 points against the Salukis.

“There were moments when we were just trying to gut some things out,” Stein said. “Then there were moments when this team looked like we could be pretty good.”

The Salukis have three more games on the road, and hope to add a win to their 0-4 season during their travel to West Virginia on Nov. 27, where they will match up against Marshall University.

Symone Woolridge can be reached at [email protected] of 536-3311 ext 253.