Salukis fall in road opener at IPFW, 79-62

    Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin surpassed the 1,000 point milestone for her SIU career on Monday against IPFW.

    Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin surpassed the 1,000 point milestone for her SIU career on Monday against IPFW.
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    Nov. 18, 2013

    Final Stats

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    By Tyler Wooten

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Saluki women's basketball team was impressive in spurts at IPFW, but they weren't consistent enough to hang with the Mastodons, falling 79-62 at the Gates Sports Center on Monday night.

    Southern (0-3) wasn't able to set a stable rhythm after letting IPFW (1-4) jump out to a 38-29 first half lead, which was due largely to SIU's two best players -- Cartaesha Macklin (12 points, four assists) and Dyana Pierre (17 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) -- sitting out the majority of the first half with a combined 10 first-half minutes and six points after getting into early foul trouble.

    With 16:22 left in the game SIU pulled back within four of the Mastodons, but after a media timeout at 15:43 IPFW pulled away and the Salukis were never that close the remainder of the game.

    Although Macklin and Pierre went on to have strong second halves, the foul troubles continued to plague the Salukis. SIU put the Mastodons on the line 22 times, 20 of which were converted. Southern was put on the line 20 times itself, but the Salukis were an abysmal 8-of-20 from the charity stripe.

    "We've got to make ours," said head coach Cindy Stein. "That's something we're constantly working on. We also can't put them at the line that much, and that's just the way they're making calls. It's very frustrating at times because you feel you're doing everything you can to stay still and you're still getting called for a foul. We've gotta battle through it, though, everybody else is."

    The Salukis were equally ineffective from beyond the arc with a 4-of-17 mark from 3-point land -- two of which were drained by Rishonda Napier (eight points). On the season, SIU is 10-of-39 (.256) from beyond the arc.

    Turnovers were a problem for both teams, but what the Mastodons did with those turnovers was a significant advantage over the Salukis. IPFW scored 23 points off Saluki turnovers, as opposed to Southern's 11 off Mastodon turnovers.

    Macklin became the 28th player in school history to score 1,000 career points on Monday night after sinking a three-pointer with 9:46 to play in the second half. She came into the game with 992 points, and now sits with 1,004 at the onset of her third year at SIU.

    Pierre was held to two points and two rebounds in four minutes in the first half, but she became the focal point of attacking IPFW's zone in the second half, scoring 15 points and hauling in eight boards in 18 minutes, notching her 11th career double-double. Pierre, the current Missouri Valley Conference leader in field goal percentage, was 7-of-10 from the field but was only 3-of-9 from the free throw line -- all of which came in the second half.

    Walk-on sophomore Hannah Shores got her first career start Monday night in place of guard Mercedes Griffin. Griffin went on to score seven points and feature heavily on defense in her 34 minutes, but Shores was equally effective in her 23 minutes as she scored a career-high nine points for the Salukis. The rest of the bench was not nearly as productive as Griffin, however, as they were outscored 21-9 against IPFW's bench.

    IPFW becomes the first Saluki opponent to outshoot SIU in 2013 (51.9 to 44.6 percent), and most of the credit can go to Mastodon guard Haley Seibert (19 points, 2-of-4 3FG) and forward Amanda Hyde (24 points, 8-of-8 FT).

    Hyde, the Summit League preseason player of year, scored 43 against the Salukis in 2012 in Carbondale. The Salukis were able to hold Hyde to six points in the first half, but Hyde and the Mastodons became too much to defend. In two seasons against the Salukis, Hyde is 16-of-17 from the free throw line and 24-of-40 from the field.

    "We're not very good right now, that's just plain and simple," Stein said. "We don't take care of the little things. We've got to win the possession war, and we don't -- it's one of those things that we're constantly battling. We're not playing with a lot of confidence, and that's what happens when you do that, you play a little frozen, and that's what we're doing."

    Southern has not won a road opener since 2005 and it now sits at 0-3 to start the season for the fourth time in five years, but Stein knows the ability to improve is there.

    "I see fire in them at times," Stein said. "Unfortunately it takes me chewing out an official to get some fire in them, but it's in there. We've just got to get it out. We can't beat it out of them, they've got to figure out their timing. They want it, they just have to figure out how to work hard enough to get it."

    The Salukis will take the short trip up Interstate 57 to Champaign, Ill., on Thursday to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at 7 p.m.