Freshman forward Azia Washington.
Jan. 19, 2013
By Bill Ford
NORMAL, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois women's basketball team couldn't bounce back from Illinois State's early blow as the Redbirds routed the Salukis 89-41 Saturday at Redbird Arena.
ISU (12-6, 4-2 MVC) used a 31-2 first-half run to put the game away early as the Salukis (4-12, 1-4 MVC) struggled all night to get shots to fall. Southern finished with more shot attempts than ISU, but only converted on 25.4 percent (17-for-67) to the Redbirds' 48.4 percent (30-for-62).
"We got our opportunities. We just couldn't find the basket," said SIU assistant coach Adrianne Harlow. "Even wide open layups, we had them and they rolled out. It was just one of those nights where nothing went our way."
SIU jumped out to an early lead at 6-3, but the Redbirds scored the next 20 unanswered as the Salukis went 0-for-9 from the field and turned the ball over four times over a six and-a-half minute span.
Cartaesha Macklin finally ended the drought with a steal and a layup to pull SIU within 23-8 with 11:28 left in the half. Unfortunately, ISU responded with an 11-0 run to put the Salukis down 34-8 with 7:22 left in the opening frame. SIU hit a few shots near the end of the half, but went into the break down 45-18.
"I think they got shell-shocked once (ISU) went on that 20-0 run," Harlow said. "They knocked us down with that blow and we didn't get back up and do anything about it. That part was disappointing."
SIU traded baskets with the Redbirds out of the break, scoring an even 16-16 through the first nine minutes of the second half. ISU dominated the remainder of the game, however, out-scoring the Salukis 28-4 in the last 11 minutes.
"They are hard to guard. Every single one of them," Harlow said of the Redbirds. "They get up the court and they are very aggressive. The way they played tonight was like a BCS team."
ISU out-rebounded Southern 53-30 and forced 19 Saluki turnovers. The free throw differential was also lopsided as the Redbirds went 25-for-30 from the line while SIU went 3-for-3.
The 48-point final margin marked SIU's worst Missouri Valley Conference loss since falling to Missouri State (then Soutwest Missouri State) 89-35 on Feb. 21, 2004. It was SIU's lowest scoring output since scoring 39 against Northern Iowa on Jan. 23, 2011.
The Salukis will be back home Friday to face Wichita State at SIU Arena.