Salukis drop conference home-opener to UNI

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

SIU was down by just three points with less than a minute remaining after junior guard Makenzie Silvey drained a 3-pointer and hit a layup. 

With diminishing time, the Salukis looked for their chance to get back in the game against UNI, but a missed shot and a final buzzer would give the Panthers (9-4, 1-1 MVC) their first MVC win of the season. 

Southern Illinois’ struggles on the offensive end against Northern Iowa’s defense cost them a 60-57 loss during SIU’s first home MVC matchup of the season. 


“I felt like our defense was pretty solid today [and] I thought we had some good play coming off the bench,” head coach Cindy Stein said. “I’m disappointed in our offense […and] our execution of our plays and the lack of details and I’m disappointed in our free throw shooting.”

SIU (9-5, 1-2 MVC) was 19-for-59 from the field overall and missed 11 free throws out of 24 total attempts. 

“Some of it’s nerves, […] but they almost want it too much that they’re overplaying, they’re overpushing, and we keep talking to them about slowing things down and being more patient,” Stein said.

After trailing 17-9 in the first quarter and hitting only three out of 17 shots, the Salukis found their momentum before the half off of four 3-pointers, including two from sophomore guard Payton McAllister. 

Following a 6-0 scoring run from Northern Iowa, SIU took the 35-33 lead at the half with a McAllister 3-pointer and a three-point conversion play by junior forward Gabby Walker. 

The Panthers regained strength after the half, making a nine-point scoring run in the third quarter while keeping Southern scoreless for over five minutes.

Northern Iowa outscored the Salukis 18-9 in the quarter, including seven points off of free throws, with Southern Illinois only landing two of 11 shots. 

“I felt like we had some good looks throughout the game and they just didn’t drop, and that’s what happened at Loyola [on Jan. 5],” Stein said. 

Junior forward Abby Brockmeyer led the Salukis in rebounding tonight with 13, but had a tough time at the charity stripe going 4-for-7 from the line.

“It’s really frustrating,” Brockmeyer said. “Just getting in the gym and getting those free throws, I think that’s the most important thing. Those bunnies will fall, we’ll make those any other game.”

Silvey was the only Saluki in double-digit points, finishing with 10. 

For UNI, graduate student guard Kristina Cavey led with 15 and junior guard Karli Rucker added 14.

The Salukis will take the court again Sunday for their next conference matchup against Drake University. Tip-off at Banterra Center is set for 2:00 P.M. 

Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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