Nov. 21, 2003
By Jeff Honza
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Chandra Brown came off the bench and scored 17 points to lead preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Southeast Missouri State (1-1) to a 73-64 win over Southern Illinois (0-1) earlier tonight at the Show Me Center.
With the loss, SIU fell to 2-10 in its last 12 season-openers.
"We lost the game and I'd rather not see us play like that again," said SIU head coach Lori Opp. "We didn't handle their pressure well. You have to give credit to SEMO. They did a nice job on defense and they caused us a lot of problems."
SIU jumped out to an early 15-10 lead thanks to Danette Jones who connected on a pair of jumpers and a three-pointer for the Salukis' first seven points of the game.
Tied 17-17 with 9:08 left in the first half, Kenja White, Chandra Brown and Yashika Sidbury each scored five points to help piece together a 20-7 run and regain a 37-24 lead for SEMO at the break.
The Salukis turned the ball over 15 times and made just 10 field goals in 23 attempts during the game's opening 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Otahkians shot 20 (12-of-20) free throws to SIU's six (3-of-6). SEMO also out-rebounded SIU, 23-16, including a 10-4 advantage on the offensive end.
Like two years ago against SEMO, SIU made a valiant run late in the second half, but came up short as time ran out. Trailing by 19 (70-51), the Salukis went on a 13-3 run in the final 5:05.
SIU's bench ignited the surge, as Stephanie Brown scored two points, Julie Madura added five and Laura Cooper chipped in three. Dana Pinkston also knocked down a three, but the rally was held off by three clutch Jessica Aebi free throws in the last 1:02, which sealed the 73-64 win.
Brown went 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from the free throw line in 23 minutes to pace the Otahkians. Aebi (11) and Sami Jo Cotton (12) also registered double figures.
SIU finished with 28 turnovers and was out-muscled on the boards, 40-32. SEMO also had 18 steals.
The Salukis return to action on Monday, Nov. 24 at Middle Tennessee State. Tip off is at 5:30 p.m.