Sophomore Azia Washington was 7-of-13 from the field for 14 points -- three off her career high.
Dec. 4, 2013
By Tyler Wooten
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Saluki women's basketball team couldn't recover from a 15-2 run late in the first half as the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks rode that momentum to a 72-50 victory over SIU on Wednesday night at the Show Me Center.
After falling behind 18-8 with 13:01 to play in the first half, Southern (1-6) clawed back into the game and tied the Redhawks (3-6) 20-20 at the 6:32 mark. SEMO, however, responded with a 15-2 tear to close out the first half, and the momentum stayed in the Redhawks’ favor as SIU was never able to come within 11 points the remainder of the game.
SIU gained two more stellar performances out of post players Dyana Pierre (12 points, six rebounds) and Azia Washington (14 points, eight rebounds, 7-of-13 FG), but there wasn’t enough consistent production from the rest of the Saluki squad to be able to overcome the halftime deficit. The Salukis only gained 14 points out of its other three starters in addition to Pierre and Washington, and Southern’s bench only contributed 10 points to the effort.
In addition to shooting 42.9 percent from the field, the Redhawks were able to capitalize off transition baskets early to wear out Southern’s defense, which helped SEMO out-rebound the Salukis 53-33.
“If you don’t hit shots and you don’t rebound the basketball and you let kids get to the basket, you’re going to lose the game, and that’s exactly what happened,” said SIU head coach Cindy Stein.
SEMO was superb off the dribble as the Redhawks notched five players in double-digit scoring. The Salukis were able to hold SEMO leading scorer Olivia Hackmann to two points in the first half, but Hackmann went 4-of-9 from the field in the second half for 12 points — including a 50.0 percent clip from beyond the arc.
“They’ve got some good players that can take it to the hole,” Stein said. “We were just flat. We were a step slow in almost every area.”
SIU and Coach Stein are coming off their first victory of the season at Central Arkansas on Monday (39-37), which meant a quick turnaround for tonight’s matchup with SEMO.
“I hate to blame it on that trip because, honestly, if you play in the NCAA Tournament you’ve got to be able to play like that. You’ve got a day’s rest — you better suck it up and go,” Stein said. “We’ve got to show better toughness and resiliency.”
Southern will have 12 days off to rest and recuperate when Eastern Illinois comes to Carbondale on Monday Dec. 16, with tipoff scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
“This is a team here that really wants to win, they just don’t know how,” Stein said. “They’ve just gotten beat over the head over and over again with losing, and we just gotta fight through that barrier. A lot of the stuff that we’ve got to deal with is mental. We’ll continue to work with it. We’re not gonna give up on this team.”