March 11, 2010
By Shalae Patrick
ST. CHARLES, Mo. - The Southern Illinois women's basketball team shot 17 percent (6-of-35) from the field in the second half, falling in the opening round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, 73-57, Thursday night in Family Arena.
"I thought we battled well in the first half," Saluki head coach Missy Tiber said. "I was a little bit nervous coming out of the locker room at halftime because of fatigue. For the most part our kids played hard and knocked down some great shots in the first half."
Tied 31-31 at halftime, the Salukis (5-24) were held to two field goals during the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Sycamores (17-13) took advantage of Southern's cold shooting going on a 14-to-5 run to start the second period.
The Sycamores were a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line in the final minute and a half of play, taking their largest lead of the contest, by 16, at the final buzzer.
Stephany Neptune led the Salukis with her 13th double-double of the season, a 14 point, 12 rebound, eight assist, five steal effort in her final game as a Saluki. The second-team all-MVC selection was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year following the game at the league awards ceremony.
Christine Presswood added a team-high 15 points and four rebounds in her final college game. The Salukis leading scorer this season earned honorable mention all-Valley honors.
Teri Oliver pitched in 12 points despite leaving the game at the eight-minute mark after getting hit in the nose. The MVC All-Freshman Team member came back to finish the game.
The Sycamores put four players in double-figures, led by Kelsey Luna with 20 points. The nations leader in free throw percentage was a perfect 12-of-12 from the line. Shannon Thomas, Brittany Schoen and Deja Mattox added 13, 11 and 10 points respectively.
"Stephany Neptune, Christine Presswood and Katie Wagner have laid the foundation this year. (They are) hard-nosed and have worked so hard," Tiber added of her seniors. "I hope the kids coming in can emulate that effort and have the opportunity to build a really nice program here."