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Cougars Topple Salukis 57-53

Lauren White
Lauren White

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Lauren White broke away for a layup off an in-bounds pass from Nakiah Bell with six seconds left Monday as SIUE women's basketball defeated SIU Carbondale 57-53 at SIU Arena.

SIUE, 3-1, won its third straight game this season and defeated its sister school for the second year in a row. White led all scorers with 18 points.

Bell was a long-distance threat for the Cougars, connecting on five three-pointers. She finished with 15 points.

"I'm just really happy with the team effort we got tonight," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "We had a couple of players out of position because of foul trouble."

The Cougars held the Salukis to 1-of-11 shooting in the opening quarter, pushing out to a 16-7 lead after 10 minutes of play. SIUE led by as much as 11 points with 48 seconds left in the first period.

Kylie Giebelhausen helped lead the Salukis back in the second period, becoming the 25th player in school history to record 1,000 points. She had nine of her 13 points in the first half.

"We struggled to put the ball in the hole in the second period," said Buscher.

The Salukis, now 3-2, were down 24-23 at halftime and surged ahead midway through the third period. A three-pointer by Giebelhausen with 6:10 left in the period put SIU Carbondale up 35-27.

SIUE chipped away at the Salukis lead and evened up the score 42-42 when Bell hit a three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the period.

"We weren't as fluid as we would like to be offensively, but you're going to have nights like that," said Buscher. "You can have to keep believing and playing hard. And I think we did that."

Bell continued to flourish to open the fourth quarter. She hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Cougars a 48-42 lead with 7:42 to play. That led to a quick timeout for SIU Carbondale.

SIUE would never trail in the fourth quarter but were pushed in the final seconds when Makenzie Silvey hit a step-back three-pointer with nine seconds left to cut SIUE's lead to 55-53.

The Salukis then needed to foul to get SIUE into the bonus. They did so twice but lost track of White on the third restart. Bell made a perfect pass from near the SIUE bench to other side of the lane and into the hands of an open White, who made the layup that put SIUE up by the final margin.

SIUE shot 36.7 percent for the game and hit just 6 of 9 free throws for the game.

"We didn't get to the free throw line as much as we usually do, but you've got to win games in different ways," added Buscher.

SIUE next heads to Illinois State for a 7 p.m. contest Thursday at Redbird Arena.

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