Jan. 18, 2010
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Melia Duncan scored a career-high 20 points Monday as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville captured a 62-51 victory over South Dakota at the Vadalabene Center.
Duncan, a sophomore from Folsom, Calif., shot 7 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three-point range. She also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. The Cougars improved to 4-16 and have now won two of their last three games.
"Her rebounding was fantastic. And she really showed it today," said SIUE Head Coach Amanda Levens of Duncan.
Levens also pointed to Duncan's defense against South Dakota's leading scorer Amber Hegge, holding her to seven points.
South Dakota's Anne Roche led the Coyotes with 17 points, mostly with driving baskets in the paint. Kara Iverson added 10. South Dakota shot 19 of 56 from the field (33.9 percent).
SIUE opened up an 11-point lead in the first half and went up 33-24 by halftime. South Dakota made a run at the Cougars and took a four-point lead off a 15-3 run midway through the second half.
"I thought we got a little bit tight when they hit that first three and took the lead. I wanted us to keep our composure and maintain our aggressiveness," said Levens.
SIUE, which shot 41.2 percent as a team, responded with strong defensive pressure. South Dakota, 7-9, managed just two field goals over the final nine minutes of the game.
The Cougars then put together a 12-0 run of their own. Duncan scored six points during the run.
"They did a fantastic job of playing team defense and taking things away," said Levens of her team.
SIUE and South Dakota will play once again Feb. 21. The next meeting is in Vermillion, S.D.
Next up for SIUE is future Ohio Valley Conference opponent Eastern Kentucky. Game time for the road contest is Wednesday at 6 p.m. Eastern time.