The Salukis’ prolific start was not enough to uproot the Sycamores as they lost their tenth-straight game 77-64 to Indiana State.
The Salukis (4-19, 1-11) began the game shooting 77.7 percent and outscoring the Sycamores (16- 8, 8-5) 19-6 through the game’s first five minutes. An early blowout seemed likely until Indiana State junior guard Anna Munn went on a 20-point run to knock the Salukis’ lead to just two points with 4:01 left in the half.
SIU interim coach Adrianne Harlow said the team did everything to slow her down.
“We were stuck to her,” she said. “I can’t tell you one time where she was wide open. She was just having one of those nights where everything was going in.”
SIU rebuilt a 42-36 lead before the end of the half, which was highlighted by sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin’s steal and break away score with just 26 seconds left. Macklin ended with 18 points and three assists on the game.
Despite the Indiana State comeback, Saluki freshman center Dyana Pierre said the team was excited to perform so well inthe first half. The Sycamores have allowed their opponents to score just 52.5 points a game, the fewest in the MVC.
Pierre said SIU went into halftime full of confidence.
“There was a lot of hype in the locker room going into halftime,” she said. “We were excited and wanted to come out and keep up the energy. We just had to keep it going for 40 minutes.”
After shooting a season-high 56.7 percent in the first half, the Salukis
shot 22 percent in the second. The Sycamores kept their offense strong and outscored SIU 41-22 in the second half.
The Sycamores’ 10-3 scoring streak to start the half gave them the lead with 15:06 left in the game. Indiana State sophomore guard Racheal Mahan stole the second-half spotlight as she added 16 of her 22 points during the stretch.
Macklin said she tried her best to keep the Salukis in the game but couldn’t take advantage of ISU’s mistakes.
“We weren’t being as smart or as mature in the second half as much as we were in the first half,” she said. “I felt like we lost focus of what we were doing and the free throws were very crucial in this game, and we didn’t step up to the line and capitalize on the mistakes that (the Sycamores) were having. We just lost focus.”
The Salukis have now lost 11 of
their last 12 games, and Harlow is still looking for her first win since she took over for resigned coach
Missy Tiber. SIU will tip-off against Missouri State at 7:05 Thursday in Springfield, Mo.