SIU Women's Basketball Drops Game to Illinois State

    Sidney Goins Scored 11 second-half points, including three 3-pointers.

    Sidney Goins Scored 11 second-half points, including three 3-pointers.
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    Jan. 17, 2014

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    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's basketball team dropped a 76-59 decision to Illinois State on Friday night at SIU Arena. SIU (3-13, 1-4 MVC) struggled on both ends of the court and got outworked by a Redbird squad that came into the game with a record nearly identical to the Salukis.

    "We got our tails whipped tonight," head coach Cindy Stein said. "Our effort and so many areas need to get better. In the Valley, teams are extremely well coached and bring a lot of energy and passion to the floor. We have to match or exceed that. We're not doing that."

    The Redbirds led the game wire-to-wire. After SIU tied it at 2, the Redbirds took the lead for good and led by 11 at halftime. Southern threatened to get back midway through the second half, cutting a 15-point ISU lead to nine and forcing the Redbirds to call a timeout. But Illinois State responded out of the timeout with two offensive rebounds before Lindsay Smith hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 15-6 run for the Redbirds.

    Illinois State pressed for the majority of the game, and Southern struggled with 22 turnovers. The Redbirds piled up 14 steals on their way to scoring 76 points, their second-highest scoring output this season.

    "I think a lot of it is panic. We need to increase our work ethic so that we can build the confidence that we need to compete, because, to me, panicking is a lack of confidence."

    Dyana Pierre led the Salukis with 14 points and eight rebounds. Pierre, ranked second in the MVC in blocked shots, added three more blocks. Sidney Goins added 11 points and three 3-pointers, all in the second half after playing only three minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Mercedes Griffin went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line in the second half and finished with 14 points.

    Southern came into the game as the top defensive rebounding team in the MVC, but Illinois State outrebounded the Salukis by nine and had six more offensive boards than SIU. Combined with Southern's 22 turnovers, the offensive boards contributed to Illinois State taking 17 more field goal attempts than SIU.

    Southern pressed in the second half to try to get back in the game and totaled nine steals in forcing 17 Illinois State turnovers, but a tightly called second half resulted in the teams combining for 24 second-half fouls and 53 total free-throw attempts.

    "(Illinois State) came on our floor and outworked us. That is not going to be a sign of our future teams. It just depends on how quick this team figures it out."