Freshman center Alexus Patterson posted her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Feb. 26, 2012
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois women's basketball team used its strongest first half of the season to cruise to its biggest win of the year, 72-46 over Evansville Saturday afternoon at SIU Arena.
The Salukis (8-19, 4-12 MVC) shot 70.8 percent in the first half on 17-of-24 shooting to take a 43-23 lead into the halftime locker room, its biggest halftime advantage of the season.
"I'm pleased with the effort today. We've spent the last week working on shooting the basketball and getting the team to contribute," Tiber said. "I was very pleased to get the box score after the game and see that everyone who played in the game for us scored."
Despite seeing its offense fall off in the second half, the Salukis shot a season-best field goal percentage of 52.7 for the game (29-for-55). Southern also held the Purple Aces (5-22, 2-14 MVC) to the lowest point total of any opponent this season.
"I thought we should have gotten somewhere in the mid-80s but we just had some mental lapses in the second half," Tiber said. "The start of the second half was a little sluggish but that was just a team understanding that we've been there before. We haven't been in that position too many times."
The Salukis finished the game with 20 turnovers thanks in part to Evansville's full-court pressure. But Southern also found several wrinkles in the Purple Aces defense, finishing with 22 fast break points and 44 points in the paint.
"It was something we've been talk about that we needed to get more of," Tiber said of her team's transition game. "With them having to play so many big kids we could really make it and up and down game. Then they put on that 2-2-1 press to try and slow us down. I like the opportunities that we were able to get out and run like we did and we did a good job rebounding too."
Cartaesha Macklin finished with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Salukis while Teri Oliver added 14 points and five boards and Alexus Patterson posted 12 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
"We needed this. After the two losses on the road we needed to bounce back and after this one we should do a lot better," Patterson said.
Evansville's Meagan Collins led all scorers with 18 points while Samantha Heck chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Purple Aces.
SIU will close the regular season with two more home games Thursday, March 1 against Indiana State and Saturday, March 3 against Illinois State.