Bradley downs Salukis 77-61

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    Redshirt-freshman center Dyana Pierre
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    March 1, 2013

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill.— Bradley took advantage of a season-high 26 turnovers by the Southern Illinois women’s basketball team in a 77-61 Braves victory Friday night at SIU Arena.

    “Obviously the turnovers were a major issue, especially in the first half,” said SIU interim head coach Adrianne Harlow. “We played into their hands a little bit too much with the turnovers, and kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”

    Despite the problems with ball control, Southern (4-22, 1-14 MVC) played a much improved game from the 48-point loss the Salukis suffered February 2 in Peoria. Southern didn’t hold a lead the entire night, but also didn’t let the Braves (12-14, 6-9 MVC) run away with the game like they did a month earlier.

    “Compared to the first time when we were basically blown out by what was going on, I thought the difference was night and day,” Harlow said.

    Bradley struck first and led throughout a majority of the first 10 minutes of the game, but Southern didn’t let the margin climb beyond four points until late in the half when the Braves used a 7-0 run to push the lead to 29-19 with 7:17 to play.

    The Salukis rallied back within six, but the Braves stormed back ahead by as much as 14 points before settling on a 13-point halftime lead. SIU struggled early against Bradley’s full-court press and its smothering zone defense as the Braves scored 19 first-half points off 16 SIU turnovers.

    SIU pulled back within 10 out of the break, but Bradley quickly bounced back with a 9-0 run to take its biggest lead of the night at 53-34 five minutes into the half. Rather than let the Braves run away with the easy win, the Salukis battled back over the ensuing nine minutes to climb back within 10 at 62-52 with 6:42 to play.

    Bradley responded with a 6-0 run, however, and Southern didn’t seriously threaten in the final five minutes.

    “We settled down in the second half and really made some runs at them,” Harlow said. “I thought we showed some flashes of doing some good things, but then we didn’t finish some of our opportunities. Had we done that, we would have put a lot of pressure on them.”

    SIU had two players finish with double-doubles as Cartaesha Macklin posted a team-high 18 points to go along with a career-best tying 10 assists and Dyana Pierre added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Also for the Salukis, Ariel Haynes tied a career high with 10 points to go along with six rebounds.

    Katie Yohn led Bradley with a game-high 23 points and seven steals while Shronda Butts added 16 points and Michelle Young had 10 points.

    SIU hosts Northern Iowa at 2:05 p.m. Sunday to close out its final homestand of the season.