March 9, 2007
By Shalae Schulte
DES MOINES, Iowa - The No. 1 Southern Illinois women's basketball team was held to a season-low 47 points as Missouri Valley Conference tournament host No. 8 Drake (12-18) upset the Salukis (20-10), 59-47, in quarterfinal-round action at the Drake Knapp Center Friday afternoon.
The Bulldogs snapped a Saluki eight-game win streak dating back to Feb. 4. For the second time in three years, the No. 1 seed was eliminated in the quarterfinal round of the tournament by the host. In 2005, tournament host No. 8 Illinois State upset No. 1 seed Missouri State.
The Salukis struck the scoreboard first on a layup by Erica Smith to take a 2-0 lead, Drake answering with an 8-0 run. SIU closed the gap with 7-0 run to go up 9-8.
Drake went on a 17-4 run to take its biggest lead of the first half, 25-13. SIU closed the gap on a 5-0 run to end the half, the Bulldogs taking a 25-18 lead into the locker room at the break.
Southern came within three twice in the second half, but Drake answered with a 8-0 run, including seven point sby Kaneisha Agee to pull ahead 38-26 with 13:52 left to play.
A free throw by Drake's Lauren Dybing with 1:35 left to play gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game, 58-39.
Dybing led DU with a game-high 15 points. Lindsay Whorton added 13 and Ashleigh Brady added 10, the third Bulldog in double digits.
Smith, Carlai Moore, Jayme Sweere and Debbie Burris led the Salukis with eight points each, the first time all season the team failed to have a player reach double-digits. Smith added a game-high nine rebounds.
The Bulldog defense forced 18 Saluki turnovers, out-rebounding SIU 40-30.
Southern Illinois, the 2007 MVC regular-season champion, has secured a bid in the WNIT. The bracket will be released late Monday night following the announcement of the NCAA tournament brackets.