Chicago State outlasts Women's Basketball, 55-51

    Dyana Pierre recorded a team-high 16 points.

    Dyana Pierre recorded a team-high 16 points.
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    Dec. 20, 2013

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    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- A season-high 22 turnovers plagued Southern Illinois' offensive effort as Chicago State topped the Salukis 55-51 at SIU Arena on Friday night.

    All nine players that entered the game for Southern recorded at least one turnover.

    "You want to put yourself in position where the bounces go your way and that definitely didn't happen tonight," said SIU head coach Cindy Stein. "Even when we had a chance for a rebound and a stop, we'd have three people run into each other and the ball would go out of bounds."

    SIU (2-7) came out to a slow start as the Cougars (2-8) grabbed an early lead allowing Southern just one lead during the first 11 minuets of play. The Salukis finally jumped ahead with a 4-0 run to go up 20-19 with 6:11 remaining in the first half. CSU fought back forcing four lead changes, but Southern closed the half on a 3-0 run to take a 28-25 lead into halftime. 

    Chicago State returned out of the break forcing two Saluki turnovers. The Cougars capitalized on the opportunity, scoring on both its possessions to take a 29-28 advantage.

    Southern's leading scorer, Dyana Pierre was benched early in the second half as she picked up her third foul at 18:38. The momentum tipped in the Cougars favor shortly thereafter as the Salukis failed to convert possessions into points.

    "We couldn't convert," said Stein. "I felt like we missed a lot of shots underneath and the kids were rushing their shots."

    SIU's offensive struggles were especially apparent in the second half as the Salukis shot just 22.2 percent from the floor (6-for-27).

    Southern Illinois found itself trailing by just one after Sidney Goins knocked in a three-pointer to bring the score to 37-38. Chicago State proceeded to control the tempo once again as the Cougars allowed Southern to score just two baskets during the next five minuets of play.

    "We have a tendency to hide sometimes," Stein said. "It didn't feel like we were ready to play with the energy we needed."

    Chicago State's Jasmine Sanders banked a crucial three-point basket to push the Cougars to a 52-45 lead with 1:21 remaining in the game.

    Southern attempted a late rally as Ariel Haynes answered CSU's shot with a three-point basket to begin to close the gap. Dyana Pierre followed with a jumper to push her team to trail by just two at 52-50.

    The Salukis kept CSU within arm's length during the final minute, however, the effort was not enough as Chicago State picked up its first-ever win in Carbondale topping the Salukis 55-51.

    Dyana Pierre led SIU with 16 points and six total rebounds while Sidney Goins added 10 points. Azia Washington recorded 11 rebounds. 

    "We are going to work hard tomorrow at practice and we are going to bring the intensity. We have to get better."

    Southern Illinois will look to bounce back when they host UT Martin on Monday, Dec. 23 at 12:05 p.m.