Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin
March 7, 2013
By Bill Ford
DES MOINES, Iowa-- The Southern Illinois women's basketball team fell in a steep second-half deficit and couldn't climb back out in an 80-65 loss to Drake Thursday night at the Knapp Center.
The Salukis (4-24, 1-16 MVC) trailed just five at halftime, but fell behind as much as 20 in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Southern battled back within eight points with less than five minutes to play, but the Bulldogs (10-18, 5-12 MVC) held off the Salukis in the final minutes.
"I think our effort wasn't very good at the start of the second half. They were out-working us there," said SIU interim head coach Adrianne Harlow. "We fought really hard for the rest of the time, from the 12 and-a-half minute mark down. But we didn't make the plays necessary to finish it off again."
The game started as a back-and-forth affair with four ties and four lead changes through the first 14 minutes as neither team led by more than four points. Drake eventually shook loose for its first significant lead of the night, using a 13-0 run to go up 39-27 with 3:01 left in the half. The Salukis ended the opening frame on a 7-0 run, however, to trail just 39-34 at halftime.
The Salukis held a 19-18 edge on the glass and forced 10 Bulldog turnovers in the first half, but Drake shot 51.6 percent from the floor in the opening frame.
SIU negated its strong run to close the first half by turning the ball over five times in the opening six minutes of the second half. The Bulldogs took advantage of the Saluki miscues, pushing out to a 20-point lead at 58-38 with 11:23 remaining.
SIU bounced back with a 12-3 run to pull within 61-50 at the 9:06 mark, though, and the Salukis eventually cut the margin to single digits at 68-60 with 4:51 to play.
"I called back-to-back timeouts and told them, `Ladies just calm down and play how you were playing in the first half,'" Harlow said. "They immediately went and took it to eight."
Cartaesha Macklin led SIU with a game-high 21 points to go along with seven assists while Rishonda Napier added 15 points and Dyana Pierre pulled down 12 rebounds. Kyndal Clark led Drake with 20 points and 10 assists while Ashley Bartow added 16 points and Morgan Reid finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
SIU ends its regular season Saturday at Creighton.