Dec. 3, 2011
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team couldn’t preserve a two-point lead to end regulation and SIU Edwardsville dominated the Salukis in overtime for a 70-60 win Saturday at SIU Arena.
SIUE center Raven Berry corralled an offensive rebound and scored on a putback as time expired to force the extra period. The Cougars (4-2) took advantage by scoring the first 10 in overtime, and the Salukis (2-4) couldn’t recover.
The fact SIUE scored the overtime-forcing basket after an offensive rebound was indicative of how the entire night went for the Cougars. SIUE finished the night with a 47-35 rebounding advantage, with the Cougars securing 20 boards on the offensive glass.
"I thought our defense in the second half was pretty solid, but we cannot rebound the basketball to save our life,” said SIU head coach Missy Tiber. “One possession under two minutes we gave them five shots at and they luckily turned it over. Then on last possession they got three shots at it to send it in to overtime."
The Salukis jumped out to a 9-4 advantage to start the game, but SIUE slowly worked its was back into contention before taking its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Valerie Finnin with 11:10 remaining in the first period. Finnin’s trey was part of an 8-0 run by the Cougars. SIUE pushed the lead to as much as 10 in the first half at 27-17 with 2:27 remaining before settling on a 29-22 halftime lead.
The Salukis scored the first nine points out of the halftime locker room to take the lead back at 31-29. The second half was largely a see-saw battle as the two teams drew seven ties and had three lead changes. The Salukis scored go-ahead baskets three times in the final 3:30, but the Cougars answered each one.
"The big thing is the rebounding. There's no excuse for it,” Tiber said. “Down the stretch, we had CiCi and Charnise in, probably two of our best kids to rebound the ball from the post position and we don't get it. We're going to have to get better in that area because that's the big Achilles heal for two straight games."
The Salukis finish a two-game homestand Thursday, Dec. 8 against IUPUI before playing five straight games on the road through January 1.
Note: SIU sophomore center CiCi Shannon’s two blocks against the Cougars bring her to 104 for her career, which ties Kathy Kampwerth (1985-89) for the SIU career blocks record.