Jan. 6, 2011
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. — Drake pulled away late for a 70-57 win over the Southern Illinois women’s basketball team in what was an otherwise back-and-forth battle.
In a game that saw 10 lead changes and five ties throughout, the Bulldogs (7-6, 1-1 MVC) used a key 8-0 run in the final five minutes to push the lead to double digits. Southern couldn’t find an answer to Drake’s late game push, falling to 2-12 overall and 0-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“I was very happy with our competitiveness. I thought we played very hard,” said SIU coach Missy Tiber. “We put ourselves in a situation to compete and have a chance to win the game, but down the stretch we missed two layups and the front-end of two one-and-one's.”
The opening half saw the lead seesaw back and forth as both teams mounted multiple runs. Drake opened the game on a 7-0 run before the Salukis answered back to pull within 8-7 by the first media timeout.
Southern took its first lead of the game at 13-11 thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Renee Reed, and the two teams traded leads again before Southern took it’s biggest lead of the game 20-16 midway through the half. The Salukis sustained that lead over the next five minutes before Drake clawed its way back in front 30-25.
Fittingly, the Salukis made a late surge to tie the game 34-34 at the half.
Southern jumped out to a 38-34 lead to start the second half, but it would be the last advantage the Salukis would hold for the rest of the night. Drake broke a 40-40 tie with just under 15 minutes to play and Southern played catch-up the rest of the game.
SIU kept within five points for much of the half until the Bulldogs’ late-game spurt pushed the game out of reach.
Brooke LeMar scored 10 points and dished out five assists in what was the Salukis most balanced offensive game of the season, as eight players registered in the scoring column. Teri Oliver had nine points while Katrina Swingler and Reed both chipped in eight.
A key stat for Southern was the fact the Salukis turned the ball over only 12 times, by far the team’s lowest turnover output of the season. Unfortunately, the Salukis lost the rebounding battle 48-31.
“I thought we took care of the ball tonight, which gave us the chance to compete,” Tiber said. “But we probably should had rebounded a bit better though.”
The Salukis complete their first home Valley series of the season at 2:05 p.m. Saturday against Creighton.