Junior guard A’Niah Griffin finished as the lone Ace in double-figures in the defensive struggle, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Leading the team in rebounds were redshirt senior Jada Poland and sophomore Abby Feit with nine boards each. Peyton McCallister led the Salukis on the afternoon, recording a game-high 16 points.
A game hallmarked by offensive struggles was won late by an offensive run in Friday’s conference opener. The Aces and Salukis combined for just 12 points in the first quarter as SIU held a narrow 22-20 lead at the half. The key to the victory for the Salukis was a 14-2 run down the stretch of the third quarter after Evansville had taken a 25-24 lead. Following the Griffin three that gave Evansville the third-quarter advantage, the Salukis’ spree opened up an 11-point lead for SIU, one which the home side would not relinquish in the 59-41 Saluki win.
Turnovers helped shape the game as Evansville committed 19 giveaways, including 11 in the first half, while SIU limited its turnovers to just seven.
The two sides meet again for the final game of the back-to-back on Saturday at 3 PM in Carbondale, Ill.
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