The Salukis defeated Eastern Illinois University Panthers (4-3) 73-59 in their final game of the Compass Challenge.
Yesterday’s win over NIU and the win tonight gave the Dawgs a 2-0 record in the classic.
This evening’s matchup was the 44th meeting of the two teams.
Southern hold a tremendous 37-6 lead over EIU in the all-time series winning nine of the last ten meetings.
SIU’s home record in the all-time series against the Panthers is 9-3 with the Salukis adding another home win to the record in this evening’s game .
The Dawgs came out swinging in the first quarter going on a 6-0 scoring run against the Panthers.
In this run we saw a mid-range jumper from junior guard Kristen Nelson, a layup from sophomore forward Abby Brockmeyer, and a pair of free throws from junior forward Nicole Martin.
Despite Panther efforts, Southern continued to rally and put points on the board.
Two three point jumpers from sophomore guard Makenzie Silvey and a mid-range jumper from Martin put SIU up 14-5 over Eastern.
Silvey finished the night second in scoring with 15 points and first in rebounds with seven.
After the first media time out, two personal fouls by sophomore forward Rachel Pudlowski gave EIU a chance to shoot two pairs of free throws, which they emerged from with two points making the score 16-7.
A three pointer from junior guard Brittney Patrick extended the Saluki lead to 21-8 with just under a minute left to go in the first quarter.
A foul under the basket by Brockmeyer gave the Panthers two points from the free throw line to bring the score to 21-10 leaving the first quarter.
EIU entered the next quarter with momentum scoring a layup within the first minute.
The Salukis responded by getting to the free throw line for two points and scoring another layup immediately after bringing the score to 24-12.
Two back-to-back three pointers from Eastern minimized the SIU lead with the score at 24-18.
A turnover by Patrick gave the Panthers possession of the ball and they nailed a layup in the middle of the lane to bring the score just within four points at 20-24.
A three-point play by senior center Celina VanHyfte and a free throw from Patrick pushed the score to 31-23 extending the Dawgs’ lead.
EIU responded with a three pointer in the last four seconds of the half and this brought the score to 31-26.
Nelson scored two back-to-back three’s to start off the scoring for the third quarter quickly putting the dawgs up by 11 points.
A pair of free throws and two layups kept the Panthers close, but Southern continued to score baskets to remain ahead.
Nelson continued to lead the Saluki scoring charge tallying two steals, a layup, and a three point play to put SIU up 46-31.
Nelson lead the team in steals tonight with four and also scored 13 points.
A layup scored by Martin brought the score to 52-31 which gave the Dawgs their highest lead of the game at 21 points.
Martin finished the game as the leading scorer for SIU with 16 points and six rebounds.
EIU scored two layups in attempts to catch Southern, but Patrick and Martin each responded with layups to bring the score to 56-36 at the end of the quarter.
VanHyfte and Silvey opened the scoring for the fourth quarter by making four total layups for SIU to make the score 64-38.
Eastern drained two straight jumpers to bring the score to 42-66, but fouled Vanhyfte immediately after sending her to the free throw line.
A foul by Saluki junior forward Lauren Hartman sent EIU to the free throw line where they made both baskets adding two more points to the Panther total.
The Panthers then got two steals and an offensive rebound converting them into layups to make the score 71-50.
With the game in its final minutes Southern struggled to score only seeing two more points for the remainder of the game.
EIU guard Carmen Tellez drained two three pointers in the last two minutes of the game for the Panthers to cut the SIU lead down to 14.
The three’s from Tellez were the final scoring plays of the final half and the Dawgs won the game 73-59.
You can see the Salukis (5-4) on the road next Tuesday in their 5 o’clock game against Murray State.
Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.
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