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SIUE Collects Road Triumph at Eastern Illinois

Micah Jones
Micah Jones

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Micah Jones and Jay'nee Alston both recorded double-doubles Saturday as SIUE women's basketball corralled a 65-56 road victory in Ohio Valley Conference play.

"What I like about our team tonight is that we grew," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Busch. "Our composure and control is what I am pleased about tonight."

Jones and Alston were two of SIUE's four players who finished in double figures. Allie Troeckler was SIUE's leading scorer with 13 points, missing a double-double of her own by a single rebound. Alston recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jones pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with her 12 points. Nakiah Bell added 11 points.

Bell, a redshirt senior, said the grind of the OVC season is just getting started as she looks to help her younger teammates navigate through the long season.

"I have to help them stay confident," said Bell. "The grind is going. We have a lot of games back to back so we have to be ready every game."

Bell had three three-pointers while Alston added two more.

SIUE's three-point defense, ranked No. 6 nationally statistically was once again stingy, holding Eastern Illinois to 2-of-16 shooting (12.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

"I think we did great," said Bell. "They (EIU) made 12 three-pointers on Thursday (against UT Martin) and today they made two. We did a good job of denying them."

Karle Pace led three EIU players scoring in double figures with 15 points. Grace McRae and Grace Lennox each added 10 points as the Panther dropped to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in the OVC.

Buscher credited the Cougars with sticking to plan off the scouting report despite Eastern Illinois making some runs to stay in contention. SIUE led for more than 90 percent of the game.

"We switched some things up defensively," said Buscher. "We put some of our players in tough position."

SIUE's switches made for some lopsided numbers on the stat sheet. SIUE outrebounded EIU 54-26, including 17-4 on the offensive glass. The Cougars turned those 17 offensive rebounds into 21 points while EIU picked up just three on second opportunities.

The Cougars' bench also overpowered the Panthers 31-8.

"The difference is the aggressiveness and control," said Buscher.

SIUE, 6-7 overall and 1-1 in OVC play, continues a road swing next week with Tennessee Tech next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Jacksonville State next Saturday at 2 p.m.

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