March 1, 2012
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team couldn’t replicate Indiana State’s efficient long-range shooting in a 69-46 loss to the Sycamores Thursday night at SIU Arena.
ISU (14-15, 8-9 MVC) nailed 10-of-16 3-point attempts for a 62.5 percent clip from beyond the arc while the Salukis (8-20, 4-13 MVC) struggled to finish 15.8 percent (3-of-19) from the 3-point line.
"Our goal was to give up no more than three 3-pointers and we gave up 10,” said SIU coach Missy Tiber. “Then we weren't able to shoot the ball very well, and the game got out of control."
Save the opening minutes when Southern jumped out to a 7-2 lead, the Salukis had their biggest struggles in the first half. After SIU’s strong start, the Sycamores scored 17 unanswered to build a 19-7 lead at the 12:24 mark.
"We got off to a good start, and to be honest to you I don't know what happened to us," Tiber said. "Players have to do what they're supposed to do at all times, and defensively we just had a lot of mental breakdowns."
The two teams traded baskets over the next 10 minutes, but the Salukis traded 2-pointers for 3-pointers. ISU slowly pushed the advantage over 20 throughout the remainder of the half before settling on a 41-22 halftime lead.
Southern turned the ball over 15 times and went 0-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first half.
"When they run so many set plays to get threes, you know they're capable of it," Tiber said of ISU’s hot shooting.
The Saluki defense improved during the second half, but Southern couldn’t find the offense to play catch-up. SIU scored 24 in the second half, but had a worse field goal percentage than in the first at 29.6 percent (8-for-27).
"We got open looks. I can't say we took a bunch of bad shots, but we had too many turnovers," Tiber said of the second half. "We held them to 33 percent from the floor, but we let them make four of five threes."
Four Sycamores finished in double figures scoring led by Brittany Schoen’s 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
The Salukis close the regular season Saturday afternoon by hosting Illinois State at SIU Arena.
"Every time we've had a bad game we've come out the next game and played pretty well,” Tiber said. “I'll get them ready to play."