Freshman guard Rishonda Napier
Nov. 23, 2012
By Bill Ford
CORAL GABLES, Fla.— Turnovers and continuing foul problems plagued the Southern Illinois women’s basketball team in an 85-62 loss to Radford Friday night at the UM Thanksgiving Tournament.
Southern (0-3) turned the ball over 21 times and committed 27 fouls, sending the Highlanders (3-1) to the line 44 times. The Salukis made just one fewer field goal than Radford, but the Highlanders netted 32 free throws to SIU’s nine.
SIU head coach Missy Tiber said the root of SIU’s foul problems throughout the night revolved around the Salukis’ inability to guard Radford on the perimeter.
“We are getting blown by to the basket. We have to be better at guarding our man,” Tiber said. “Our bigs are getting in foul trouble because the guards are getting beat of the dribble and they are rotating to help. We have got to get better at guarding the ball and not letting them penetrate in the lane.”
Southern started the game strong, sticking with the Highlanders early and taking a 14-10 lead at the 11:10 mark of the first half. The momentum quickly swung Radford's direction over the remainder of the half, however, as sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin and sophomore center Alexus Patterson fell into foul trouble. Macklin picked up three first-half fouls while Patterson had two.
“We were at 14-10, I felt pretty good about us. We were settling down and making things happen,” Tiber said. “Then you have to send (Macklin and Patterson) to the bench for a while and we just aren’t the same basketball team. We can’t compete at a high enough level with those two sitting on the bench.”
In the team’s worst stretch of the game, the Salukis only managed four more points throughout the rest of the half as Radford took a 33-18 lead into the locker room.
Unfortunately, SIU’s defense didn’t see the same upswing in the second half. Southern allowed the Highlanders 52 second-half points on a 48.3 percent shooting clip (14-for-29).
“I thought we did settle down a little bit and get some good shots,” Tiber said of the second half. “But we made no commitment to guarding anybody on the defensive end of the court, and especially guarding them without fouling.”
Tiber said Bouie, who went 8-for-12 from the field and also had five rebounds and three assists, has made big strides in the last two games.
“Jameeka has been slowly coming along. I told my assistant coaches last week that probably soon she needs to be in the starting lineup,” Tiber said. “I liked what she did overall tonight. She’s still got a long ways to go, but I think she’s going to be a good player.”
Tiber also said she plans a change with starting guards Macklin and Napier that will help both players be more effective.
“I think after today’s game, Cartaesha needs to go back to the point. I really think that’s where she needs to be,” Tiber said. “I think right now maybe Rishonda needs to scoot over to the two a little bit. I don’t like our speed without Cartaesha having the ball in her hands to start.”
Southern finishes its stay in the UM Thanksgiving Tournament at 4 p.m. CST Saturday against Florida Atlantic (2-2), who lost to host Miami 76-61 in the early game Friday.