Freshman forward Azia Washington
March 9, 2013
By Bill Ford
OMAHA, Neb.— The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team ended its regular season with a 61-42 loss to Creighton Saturday afternoon at D.J. Sokol Arena.
Southern (4-25, 1-17 MVC) posted its third-lowest scoring total of the season and shot just 32.1 percent from the field (17-for-53) as the Bluejays (23-6, 15-3 MVC) controlled the game from tip to final buzzer.
“We played really well defensively, holding them to 61 points,” said SIU interim head coach Adrianne Harlow. “We just couldn’t hit a shot. Especially in the first half, we got a lot of good open threes. And we missed a ton of layups.”
The Bluejays nailed four 3-pointers in the first half and led by as much as 14 before SIU posted a small rally to cut the margin to single digits. Southern used a 6-0 run to rally back within eight points late in the half before Creighton guard Ally Jensen hit a shot just before the halftime buzzer to give the Jays a 30-20 lead at the break.
Southern struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 24.1 percent from the field as just four Salukis registered in the scoring column. Meanwhile, Creighton shot 43.3 percent from the field and had eight players score.
The Salukis played their best basketball of the game out of halftime, cutting the Creighton advantage to six points at 33-27 in the fist three minutes. The Jays responded with a 12-1 run, however, to push the lead to 45-28. Southern struggled to find offensive options midway through the half outside freshman forward Azia Washington, who finished with 12 points.
Creighton extended the lead as high as 24 late in the game before settling on the 19-point win. SIU hit few shots late in the game, including a layup by Cartaesha Macklin at the buzzer, to avoid its lowest scoring game of the year.
The Bluejays clinched a share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with the win as well as the No. 2 seed in next week’s MVC Tournament in St. Charles, Mo. Co-MVC champion Wichita State will take the top seed in the tournament. SIU will have the No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 seed Evansville next Thursday.