Lindenwood tops Women's Basketball, 70-55, in exhibition contest

    Cartaesha Macklin knocks down a 3-pointer versus Lindenwood.

    Cartaesha Macklin knocks down a 3-pointer versus Lindenwood.
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    Nov. 2, 2013

    By Tom Weber

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    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois women's basketball coach Cindy Stein knew there'd be days like this.

    The first-year head coach, who took over a Saluki program coming off a 5-26 season, lost to Division II Lindenwood, 70-55, in an exhibition game at SIU Arena on Saturday.

    "There were no bright spots in this game -- we did not play well," said Stein, whose team won its first exhibition game against Maryville last week. "A lot of bad habits came out that we thought were not coming around as much."

    The Lady Lions, a program based out of St. Louis, had no players score more than a dozen points, but five individuals had at least nine points. They shot 44 percent from the field, out-rebounded Southern by eight, and forced seven more turnovers. Their bench out-scored the Salukis, 29-10.

    "When you play a smart, passing, efficient-shooting team, you have to be very disciplined, and that's where we're lacking right now," Stein observed.

    Lindenwood took control of the game early, breaking a 10-10 tie with a 7-0 run. The Lady Lions never trailed thereafter, leading by 10 points at halftime and maintaining a double-digit advantage during the game's final six minutes.

    Southern's offense was led by shooting guard Cartaesha Macklin, who scored 16 points and dished out four of the team's nine assists. Center Dyana Pierre added 10 points and eight rebounds, but Stein had hoped her team could better exploit its size advantage over the visitors.

    "I'm disappointed in our post play probably the most," she said. "Our post could be dominant, but Alexus can't last very long and we have to work on her conditioning, and Dyana has to get tougher."

    After committing just 10 turnovers in the first exhibition, the Salukis surrendered 20 to Lindenwood today.

    "Our point guard play was not very good," Stein observed. "We didn't demonstrate any toughness. We started going one-on-one and looking to do things individually instead of together."

    The Salukis shot 41 percent from the field and just 37 percent from the free throw line, where they missed a dozen tries.

    Stein praised the play of walk-on guard Hannah Shores, who came off the bench to score five points in 15 minutes of action.

    "She brings more of the toughness and aggressiveness that I want to see in all of them," Stein explained. "You have to have a kid with that scrappiness out on the floor, because we're lacking that."

    SIU has six days to right the ship before it opens the regular season on Friday night with a home game versus Wright State at 6:05 p.m. Stein admitted her team took a step back.

    "(Lindenwood) out-played us, they beat us to loose balls, they took balls away from us -- those kind of things shouldn't happen," she said. "We have to get a lot tougher and play a lot better defense."