Jordyn Courier led the Salukis with 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
Feb. 8, 2014
By John Lock
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's basketball team couldn't stay with a hot-shooting Drake team that made 10 3-pointers on Saturday afternoon at SIU Arena. The Bulldogs won the game, 80-55.
"We don't know how to fight for that next possession," head coach Cindy Stein said. "We always have this feeling of dread. 'What's going to happen next?' That's the barrier we're trying to break down. I thought our work ethic was better today, but, almost like we tried too hard, we got undisciplined defensively."
The Salukis (4-18, 2-9 MVC) played Drake at the wrong time. A one-time 1-6 team in the Missouri Valley Conference, Drake has reeled off four-straight wins, including a big upset over second-place Northern Iowa, and made double-digit 3-pointers in five-straight games.
Drake junior guard Kyndal Clark, the third-leading scorer in the Valley at 17.1 points per game entering Saturday's game, poured in 19 points by halftime and ended up with 29 points in just 28 minutes. She had five 3-pointers in the first half alone and ended up with seven of the team's 10 3-pointers.
"If you didn't know who Kyndal Clark is, you do now," Stein said. "We may have put her on the national scene. Twenty-nine points in 28 minutes is outstanding; I don't know if we could score a point a minute if we were locked in the gym."
Despite trailing by as many as 14 in the first half, Southern rallied and went on a 6-0 run to end the half and cut the deficit to eight. In the second half, the Salukis got within five before the Bulldogs reeled off a 12-0 run to put the game away.
"This team has to have that deep-down belly burn of desire to want to compete every possession," Stein said. "We're on-and-off, on-and-off. We get it down to five and we relax a bit. They go on a run. We need more energy to rev up. That's the competitiveness we need to find."
Jordyn Courier kept the Salukis in the game in the first half, scoring 10 points. Courier led the Salukis with 13 points, and Hannah Shores scored a career-high 11 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Southern Illinois players wore special pink uniforms during the game with different names on the backs, commemorating cancer victims and survivors. The auctioned jerseys raised more than $4,000 for the Hope is Home campaign, and jerseys were presented to the winning bidders after the game. Winning bidders included head coach Cindy Stein and former radio analyst Johnny Sole. The game was truly a Pink Out, with most fans, coaches, and managers wearing pink. Even Drake's coaches wore pink, and Drake's players wore pink socks, while officials used pink whistles.
The Salukis are on the road next weekend, taking trips to Indiana State on Friday night and Illinois State on Sunday afternoon.