Category: Sports Blog

Salukis prevail in overtime thriller

By Daniel Hartmann

An absolutely dominant game from Dyana Pierre allowed the Salukis to win their second straight game and finish the preseason WNIT on a high note. The 79-70 victory improved the Salukis to 2-1 in the regular season.

When told about her stat line after the game, Pierre laughed and responded with, “Well that’s a shock.” Not to myself and everyone else in the stands. Pierre was by far the best player on the court during her 43 minutes on the court. She posted a 27 point, 21 rebound, 2 assist, 2 block, and 2 steal assault on the box score.

She was given back-up throughout the first four quarters by Kylie Giebelhausen’s sharp shooting. Giebelhausen drained four 3-pointers on her way to 16 points, and at one point had scored 11 of 15 Saluki points, and assisted on two more. But aside from these two, not many Salukis stood out to start.

A 10 point third quarter deficit, threatened to down the Dawgs, but they fought back with a vengeance. They managed to come all the way back and took a three point lead with 12 seconds left. Then Jayda Johnson sent this one to overtime with an offensive rebound and drained a three pointer with three seconds left. Napier’s attempt at the buzzer was off right, and her night up until then had been quiet.

Until the overtime period. Rishonda Napier exploded for 8 points in the five minutes of overtime. Pierre and Napier scored every one of SIUC’s points in the overtime period. Of note besides the scoring of these two, was the defense that the ‘Dawgs deployed. Two immediate blocks from Pierre set the tone in overtime. But the play of the period came from Carlie Corrigan. With SIU nursing a 69-67 lead, Corrigan got in front of a  two-person fast break and broke up the play with a leaping block. The Salukis then raced down the court and scored again to give them the lead they needed to win the game.

I think Tiajeney Hawkins should start getting some more time on the court. Though she played four official minutes on the box score, she only played 3:14 of total time. In her time on the court, the Salukis outscored the Lady Tigers of Tennessee State 5-0, and she scored four of those points, and added lock down defense on the perimeter.

“Tiajeney is going to be really good. And so, I’ve gotta find her more minutes,” Coach Stein reported after the game.

And after the last two games, in limited minutes, I would tend to agree with her. She just seems like she can make things happen. We saw it today in the game, but alos yesterday. When she’s in the game, she’s confident, she attacks the basket, and can make shots from the mid-range as well. That doesn’t even mention her intensity on the defensive side of the court, or her willingness to attack the boards.

Also something to pay attention to was Azia Washington’s absence. The normal starter at the power forward position for the Dawgs missed the game with a deep thigh bruise. From the start of the game, it was easy to tell that the Salukis were missing her presence.  As Coach Stein said after the game, Washington’s experience is important to the team’s defense, spacing, and getting Pierre out of double teams.

The Salukis’ next home game is Wednesday, November 25, at 6:00 p.m., against Tennessee-Martin.

WNIT Round 1 vs Sienna

By Daniel Hartmann

A slow first half gave way to a game defining third quarter that allowed the Salukis to cruise to a 73-54 victory over the Siena Saints Friday night.

In the WNIT consolation bracket both teams were looking to pick up their first regular season victories. Both teams shot poorly in the first half, as neither team made even 40% of their field goals. But a halftime pep talk by Coach Cindy Stein seemed to spark the ‘Dawgs to a monster third quarter.

A 30-27 deficit at the half gave way to a 57-36 lead after three. The Salukis seemingly couldn’t miss as the quarter went on. For Siena, the opposite was true. A 0-13 effort from the floor cost them the game, as did their 18-5 disadvantage on the boards.

Azia Washington was a determining factor for the quarter. She scored eight points and an assist in her seven minutes on the court. After taking a knee to the thigh, Washington left the game and did not return.

The balanced scoring by the Salukis was also important, as every Saluki who made it into the game scored at least one point, and four players scored at least 10. The Salukis were led by Washington’s 12, as well as 11 from Cartaesha Macklin, and another 10 each by Rishonda Napier, and Kylie Giebelhausen. Siena was led by 18 points from Kollyns Scarbrough and 10 from Jackie Benitz.

A defense filled first quarter was not defined by its low-scoring. Dyane Pierre in particular made her presence felt in her limited time on the court. Even though she battled foul trouble and only pulled down one rebound, she had a block and two steals and was integral in holding the Saints to a total of 10 points in the quarter. Even so, the score was 10-9 Siena after 1.

Rebounding the ball was Siena’s biggest advantage at the half. They had a 25-16 advantage as well as a 12-4 advantage on the offensive side. Emmanuella Edoka, Symone Kelly, and Scarbrough each led the way with 5. Edoka finished with 10 to lead all players.

I think the biggest turning point in the game was the insertion of Washington with the starters in the second half, as well as Pierre being back on the court. Pierre was routinely double teamed in the post, leading to Washington exploiting holes in the Saints Defense. The two towering women also provided the stout defense that Coach Stein had been craving at halftime.

The quote of the game had to have come from Coach Stein as well. When a reporter mentioned that Siena hadn’t made a single basket during the third quarter, she grinned, and said, “That’s a shame.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s matchup with Tennessee State, Coach Stein mentioned that the bench would be key, playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Expect to see more minutes given to Blair Stephenson, and Tiajaney Hawkins in the game. Tip off is tomorrow at 6:30 in the SIU Arena.

Southern Illinois vs Kentucky State

By Peter Bobrinskoy


SIU Head Coach Barry Hinson knew exactly what he wanted his team to do against the Golden Flashes and they fulfilled. Starting the game with an 8-0 lead, Southern Illinois set the tempo right away and lead the entire game.

“It’s really a testament to the kids in that locker room. I mean to lead wire to wire is very impressive and to not give up the lead. These kids need to feel good about our challenges. I hope that’s a sign because what we did tonight was very impressive. ” Coach Hinson said.

SIU entered Wednesday’s game with a 2-0 record. Kent State came in as 1-0. After coming off two wins to start the season against Air Force and Florida A&M, the Salukis defense played with an edge and their shooting was right on. The team shot 41% from the field and was in complete control throughout.

The last time the Salukis were 3-0 came in 2012 in Barry Hinson’s first season as head coach. That team started 3-0 and began the season 7-3, but finished 14-17.

Although Southern Illinois was in control of the game throughout, the ending almost got away. The score got as close to four with only 2:30 left as the Salukis feared a comeback was coming. However Anthony Beane then answered with a step back jumper to bring the lead back to six with 2 minutes left. The Golden Flashes then went on to split free throws on the follow possession, and then made a huge stop on defense, they were fouled again and split the free throws making it a four point game with a minute left.

Kent State had plenty of chances to tie the game at the end when Southern Illinois ran into foul trouble and Kent State went to the free throw line three times in the last two minutes but only made 3 of its 6 free throws at the end of the game. The game ended up coming down to the wire when Kent State drew a charging foul with 8.7 second left and gave themselves a chance to tie the game. Needing only a three pointer to tie the game, Kellon Thomas missed the potential game tying three and the Salukis went on to win the game 72-69.

The Salukis player of the game was without question Senior Anthony Beane. Beane, a Normal, Illinois native, finished the game with a career tying 32 points. When asked about his amazing performance, he responded unselfishly by only talking about his team effort.

“We’re 3-0 it’s a great feeling, but we can’t get satisfied. It’s just the beginning and we need to keep building off from what we had. How we played together and stayed focus towards the end,” he said. “Our biggest thing was to just come in, stay level headed, and just play our game, and do what we have to do.”

The Salukis next match up is at Sam Houston State University on Saturday.

NFL Week 11 Predictions

         By Jeremy Sneed

Thursday Night Football

7:25 Titans (2-7) @ Jaguars (3-6)

-The Jaguars capitalized on three Joe Flacco turnovers last week and were able to beat the Ravens on a game winning field goal.  The Titans have not been so lucky this season and I think the Titans will fall again this week.  Even though Allen Hurns has been banged up pretty much every week, he has still caught a touchdown in the last 7 games.  I think Bortles will find Hurns once again Thursday and the Jags improve to 4-6.  Final score: 24-16

12:00 Rams (4-5) @ Ravens (2-7)

-With Nick Foles struggling this year, Jeff Fisher is giving the ball to Case Keenum this week.  Joe Flacco lost the game last week for the Ravens against Jacksonville turning the ball over three times.  I think the Ravens struggles will continue as Keenum leads to the Rams to a much-needed win on the road.  Final score: 24-21

12:00 Redskins (4-5) @ Panthers (9-0)

-Kirk Cousins had the game of his life last week completing 20 out of 25 passes and throwing 4 touchdowns.  Cam Newton and the Panthers are still undefeated after knocking off the Titans last week.  While a lot of teams hate playing against Cam Newton because he is actually having fun playing football, I think the Redskins will fall this week as the Panthers improve to 10-0.  Final score: 27-23

12:00 Broncos (7-2) @ Bears (4-5)

-I find this matchup more interesting now because of the fact that Brock Osweiler will be making his first NFL start against a Bears team that has won three straight games.  The Broncos looked horrible last week against the Chiefs with Manning and Osweiler at quarterback.  For the Bears, a new star is beginning to emerge in Jeremy Langford and Jay Cutler is playing out of his mind this season.  I think the Bears will add to their winning streak this week with a victory over the Manning-less Broncos.  Final score: 31-17

12:00 Cowboys (2-7) @ Dolphins (4-5)

-The Cowboys have lost seven straight games since Tony Romo got injured.  Well, Romo is expected to play this week against the Dolphins but I think the season is close to over for the ‘Boys.  They would have win out the rest of the season to have a chance at the playoffs.  I do think the Cowboys will win this week though against the Dolphins with a final score of 24-18.

12:00 Raiders (4-5) @ Lions (2-7)

-The Lions shocked the world by beating the Packers in Green Bay for the first time since 1991.  But, I think that parade will end this week against the Raiders.  The Raiders offense is too good for the Lions weak defense who benefitted last week from a weak receiving core for Green Bay.  I think Derek Carr and Amari Cooper lead the Raiders to their fifth win of the season with a final score of 35-12.

12:00 Jets (5-4) @ Texans (4-5)

-TJ Yates led the Houston Texans to an upset win Monday night against the Bengals.  With the idea that Yates might be starting this week against the Jets, I think Yates and the Texans get it done against the Jets.  Professional sports rely a lot on momentum and the Texans have momentum having won two straight games.  Final score: 20-16

12:00 Colts (4-5) @ Falcons (6-3)

-Matt Hasselbeck will be holding down the fort the next few weeks while Andrew Luck recovers from his multiple injuries.  The Falcons have lost 3 of their 4 games after starting 5-0.  After their bye week, I think Matt Ryan and the Falcons get a much needed win against the Colts this week.  Final score:  36-20

12:00 Buccaneers (4-5) @ Eagles (4-5)

-I think this is another interesting matchup because Mark Sanchez could be starting this week if Sam Bradford fails his concussion tests.  Whether Bradford or Sanchez starts, I think Jameis Winston leads his team to a huge road win.  I just like the play-making ability of Winston with Mike Evans on the outside catching bombs.  Final score: 25-17

3:05 Chiefs (4-5) @ Chargers (2-7)

-The Chargers had a much needed bye week last week after starting off 2-7.  The Chiefs are coming off of a demolishing of the Broncos last week.  With this being said, I think the Chiefs defense will be too strong for the Chargers offense.  I think the Chiefs win this game with a final score of 32-22.

3:25 Packers (6-3) @ Vikings (7-2)

-The Packers and Vikings have been playing on opposite sides of the spectrum recently.  The Packers have lost three straight games while placing the blame on Aaron Rodgers.  On the other hand the Vikings have won five straight games getting help from every player.  I think the Packers are too good of a team to lose four straight games, so my prediction goes to the Packers beating the Vikings this week.  Final score: 36-31

3:25 49ers (3-6) @ Seahawks (4-5)

-The 49ers were able to get a win in week 9 with Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback creating more quarterback controversy then there already was.  The controversy swirling around the Seahawks is how are they going to use Jimmy Graham and when is the defense going to play better.  I think the Seahawks will win this game simply because they are a much better team than the 49ers are on both sides of the ball.  I think Seattle’s offense erupts this week beating the 49ers 41-21.

Sunday Night Football

7:30 Bengals (8-1) @ Cardinals (7-2)

-The Bengals did not expect to lose Monday night to the Texans but they did and now they are 8-1 instead of 9-0.  The Cardinals are on a roll now winning their last three games.  I think the Cardinals will add to that winning streak this week as Carson Palmer takes down his former team.  Final score: 38-14

Monday Night Football

7:30 Bills (5-4) @ Patriots (9-0)

-The Patriots nearly lost last week against the Giants, but I don’t think the Bills are going to give New England as tough of a fight.  The Patriots have been able to find ways to beat everyone this year whether it’s a close game or blowout.  I think Brady and the Pats improve to 10-0 this week in a 36-15 victory over Rex Ryan and the Bills.