Jordyn Courier scored a career-high 19 points against Loyola.
Nov. 17, 2012
By Bill Ford
CHICAGO— The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team couldn’t hold off a late push by Loyola-Chicago in an 82-73 loss to the Ramblers Saturday night at Gentile Arena.
The Salukis (0-2) had a 62-60 lead with 7:12 to play in the game before Loyola (2-1) reeled off a key 10-0 run to go ahead by eight points with less than five minutes to play. The Ramblers never let Southern closer than six in the final minutes to secure the win in their home opener.
“It was 62-all and we got three straight stops and we turned the ball over three straight times,” said SIU head coach Missy Tiber. “I really feel like that was our chance to do something and we just didn’t make it happen.”
Loyola had the final and most important run in a game full of momentum swings. The Ramblers also had the better start, running out to a 21-8 lead in the first eight minutes. SIU responded with a 14-1 run, however, to tie the game at 22-22 with 7:38 remaining in the half.
The Salukis eventually pushed ahead and took their biggest lead of the game at 33-28 before the Ramblers took control back in the final three minutes of the first half. Loyola closed the opening frame on a 10-0 run to take a 38-33 lead into the locker room.
SIU chipped away at the Rambler advantage out of halftime, eventually tying the game 52-52 on a 3-pointer by Jordyn Courier at the 11:33 mark. The two teams traded leads before Southern took its first lead of the half at 60-58 after a pair of free throws by Dyana Pierre.
The two teams traded buckets before Loyola guard Patrice King hit a jumper to tie the game at 62-62. SIU turned the ball over twice and went 0-for-6 from the field over its next seven possessions as the Ramblers scored on all but one of their possessions in that span. The Salukis resorted to fouling in the final minutes and Loyola hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold off SIU.
SIU’s shooting was much improved from its season opener as the Salukis finished 41.2 percent from the floor (28-for-68) and Southern out-rebounded the Ramblers 42-39. Unfortunately, the Salukis sent Loyola to the free throw line 36 times while only shooting 11 themselves.
Loyola forward Simone Law led all scorers with 27 points, 13 of which came from the charity stripe, while teammate Taylor Johnson added 26 points and two other Ramblers scored 10.
“I really believed coming into this game that our defense would be a lot better,” Tiber said. “We’ve got to be better defensively, moving our feet and not fouling. Two kids had huge games for them, and we didn’t have an answer for them.”
Courier finished 5-for-9 from the 3-point line and tallied a career-high 19 points to go along with six rebounds to lead the Salukis. Sophomore Cartaesha Macklin added 14 points and freshman Jameeka Bouie chipped in 12 for Southern while sophomore Alexus Patterson pulled down 10 rebounds and Rishonda Napier dished out seven assists.
“I think if there is one kid that is playing to her potential right now, it’s her,” Tiber said of Courier. “It’s not just her stat line. It’s all the other little plays that aren’t recorded in a box score. The loose balls and the helping on defense and making plays.”
SIU is back in action Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24 at the UM Thanksgiving Tournament in Coral Gables, Fla. The Salukis will play Radford Friday before taking on either host Miami or Florida Atlantic Saturday.