McDowell Scores Career-High as SIU Falls to SMS

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    January 11, 2001

    Sophomore guard Molly McDowell scored a career-high 28 points to lead Southern Illinois University as the Dawgs lost to No. 15 Southwest Missouri State (10-3, 4-1), 81-70, in Missouri Valley Conference action Thursday at SIU Arena.

    McDowell's 28 points surpassed a previous career mark of 19 points done earlier this season against Arkansas Pine Bluff.

    Although SIU came up short, their loss felt like a win as the Dawgs battled with the nationally-ranked Lady Bears tooth-and-nail until the buzzer sounded.

    Southern Illinois struggled offensively in the first half shooting just 9-of-35 (.257) from the field as the Bears led by as much as 19 in the game. Stiles, who got into early foul trouble, was limited to just six points in 11 minutes of play.

    With Stiles picking up her fifth foul at the 3:04 mark in the second half, the door then opened for SIU. Trailing 74-60 with 2:36 left, the Salukis went on a 6-0 run in 1:38 highlighted by back-to-back jumpers by Terica Hathaway, a spinning jumper in the lane by McDowell and a pair of free throws by McDowell as well. Capitalizing on three straight possessions, SIU narrowed the margin to 74-66, but the hopes of knocking off the nationally-ranked Lady Bears slowly faded away as SMS sunk 7-of-8 free throws in the end to post the 81-70 win.

    Despite its cold shooting in the first half, SIU made a dramatic turnaround in the second stanza to connect on 17-of-34 of its field goals for a 50 percent showing. McDowell was 10-of-20 from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point land, and 6-of-6 from the foul line to cap off her career night. Hathaway then followed with a double-double 10 points, 10 rebounds to round out the Salukis' top scorers.

    Although fouling out of the game, Stiles still managed to lead all SMS scorers with 23 points as four others joined her in double figures. Tara Mitchem (14), Kinga Kiss (12), Carly Deer (11) and Erika Vicente (10) made up the four.

    SIU, now 4-9 overall, 1-3 in the MVC, will conclude its three-game homestand Saturday, Jan. 13, when the Dawgs play host to Wichita State at 2:05 p.m.