Feb. 17, 2012
By Bill Ford
WICHITA, Kan. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team suffered its worst defeat of the season with a 74-46 loss to Wichita State Friday night at Koch Arena.
Southern (7-18, 3-11 MVC) struggled to hit open shots throughout the evening and couldn’t find a third scorer to compliment Cartaesha Macklin and Teri Oliver, who scored all but nine points for the Salukis.
“The most discouraging thing is we had so many opportunities and so many wide open shots and we didn’t make them,” said SIU head coach Missy Tiber. “We just didn’t do the things on the offensive end that we should’ve.”
The Salukis started the game with a bang, jumping out to a 5-0 lead with a 3-pointer by Oliver and a layup by Macklin within the first 30 seconds. That lead quickly fizzled, however, as SIU went scoreless over the next six minutes as the Shockers (16-8, 10-3 MVC) scored 11 unanswered. SIU didn’t get sniff at the lead the rest of the night.
The Salukis fell upon foul trouble early in the half as the starting frontcourt tandem of Alexus Patterson and Ariel Haynes, as well as backup center CiCi Shannon were all whistled for two fouls within the first six minutes.
With several key players out of the lineup, the Salukis struggled to defend the Shockers’ inside duo of Alex Harden and Chynna Turner, who finished with 15 points and 12 points respectively.
The Shockers took advantage of Southern’s foul trouble, pushing the margin as high as 12 before settling on a 34-24 halftime lead. Tiber said the foul trouble didn’t hurt the team as bad as missed opportunities from the field and the free throw line.
Macklin and Oliver scored 33 of Southern’s first-half points as no other Saluki player made a field goal in the opening period. Charnise Mitchell hit a jumper to open SIU’s second-half scoring, but the Salukis contributions didn’t extend far beyond the team’s two leading scorers.
“Coming in, our game plan was to get more shots in people’s hands,” Tiber said. “We got (Antishia Wright) seven shots tonight. Jordyn (Courier) had a couple good open looks at threes. We had some kids get to the free throw line and come away empty handed. We really needed to make shots and we just weren’t able to do it.”
WSU pushed its advantage to 18 points within the first three minutes of the second half, spreading out its scoring all over the roster. The Shockers had five players finish with double figures in scoring, the third Saluki opponent to achieve that milestone this season.
The Shockers’ defensive pressure especially got to the Salukis in the second half as Southern coughed up 16 of its 25 turnovers in the second period. WSU led as much as 32 points before SIU hit a couple of late shots to bring the final margin under 30.
“That’s what their style is,” Tiber said. “They are very athletic and very aggressive. They get in the passing lanes. Twenty five turnovers is way too many.”
Macklin was a bright spot in an otherwise grim game for SIU, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds, just two points and two rebounds shy of career highs. Oliver tallied 12 points, going 4-for-8 from long range. Other than Macklin and Oliver, the rest of the Salukis went 4-for-22 from the field and 1-for-8 from the free throw line.
The Salukis travel to Missouri State Sunday, looking to complete the season sweep of the Lady Bears. SIU hasn’t swept MSU since the 2006-07 MVC Championship season.
Note: Teri Oliver hit four 3-pointers in the game to improve to 79 for the season, which ties Cari Hassel’s single-season record at SIU from the 1994-95 season…Cartaesha Macklin scored 25 points to go over 400 for the season. Macklin and Oliver are just the third pair in school history to both score 400 points in a season.