Nov. 12, 2006
By Shalae Schulte
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's basketball team, down by nine points at half-time, went on a 16 to six run with 12:44 left in the game to take a 55-50 lead over Missouri, but couldn't hold on as the Tigers bounced back to spoil a season-opening victory in front of a record crowd at SIU Arena Sunday afternoon, 71-60.
Sunday's attendance of 3,367 broke the all-time single-game record at SIU. The previous record of 2,003 was set in 1989 at a match up between Southern and Wichita State.
"The crowd was great," Saluki head coach Dana Eikenberg said. "That was a great women's basketball environment. The fans were into it and on some big shots in the second half when place erupted that really made a difference. We just weren't able sustain it."
SIU won the boards 34-31 and shot 46 percent from the field, but had trouble finishing some key lay-ups and free throws late in the game.
"It's how you practice day in and day out," Eikenberg said. "Other than the free throw line, and making a few less fouls, we did everything to beat them. We executed timeouts perfectly to get the wide open lay-ups. We did everything we needed to do. We just weren't able to finish it off. I'm proud of them, we learned a lot."
The Salukis had three starters with four or more fouls, including Jasmine Gibson who played only 18 minutes with foul trouble early. The sophomore forward scored 12 points before fouling out with 4:38 left in the game.
"We're going to play physical because we're undersized," Eikenberg said. "You know that we're going to bang you and we're going to knock you down. That's just how we play."
Mizzou went to the charity stripe 30 times, converting 24, while Southern shot just six of 12 from the free throw line.
Carlynn Savant and EeTisha Riddle chipped in 14 each, while Alyssa Hollins came of the bench to add 13. Riddle also added a game-high 12 boards.
Carlai Moore led the Salukis with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the second double-double of her career.
"I learned we can play with anybody," Eikenberg added. "My staff did a fantastic job with the scouting report. We can do it, this team is capable. We didn't get consistent play. We got a little bit outside ourselves. Now we just have to get them ready to get back to practice on Monday."
The Salukis will return to action Friday, Nov. 17 when they host Murray State. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.