By: David Bell
The Saluki women, 5th in the conference, hosted the Drake Bulldogs, 1st in the conference, for an inter-conference match up. Drake opened up the scoring with a quick two but Southern answered back with a 3 to take the lead. Drake would come back however to take the lead at the end of the 1st quarter with a score of 16-13. Southern answered back in the second quarter to take and hold the lead at the half ending the half with a three point buzzer beater by Kristen Nelson to take a 35-31 point lead. The Bulldogs’ star forward Lizzy Wendell was held to 10 points in the first half to lead all scorers. Kim Nebo of the Salukis would lead her team with 5 points in the half. In the 3rd quarter Drake came back to tie the game by the end of it at 50 for each side. Once the fourth quarter came around Southern simply couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs scoring. The Bulldogs would take their largest lead of the night, 16, and it was simply too much for southern to overcome as they fell 71-60 to end the night.
The Bulldogs keep their spot at 1st in the conference and bring their winning streak in the conference to 10 straight. Southern falls to 4-6 in the conference and 10-11 on the year. After the game Rishonda Napier said “we played really well for 32 minutes,” and attributed their struggles in the 4th quarter to “lapses in communication.” Cindy Stein, head coach of the Salukis, attributed the success for the first three quarters by saying she “felt if the game was ugly we had a chance.” However in the end, once both Stein and Napier admit the Salukis lost their confidence, the women were missing one key factor that they would need to continue on. Coach Stein put it best when she stated “leadership has got to come in.”