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Salukis Defeat Cougars

Mikala Hall dribbles to the basket with the help of Allie Troeckler
Mikala Hall dribbles to the basket with the help of Allie Troeckler

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Makenzie Silvey ignited SIU Carbondale in the renewed women's basketball rivalry between the sister schools at the First Community Arena in the Vadalabene Center on Friday.

The Salukis scored 57 first-half points and never looked back in winning their season opener 103-67. The Cougars fell to 0-2.

"They (Salukis) shot really well, pushed the ball at us and got a lot of points off their transition game," SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher said. "We knew they had a good transition game and move the ball well, so they can be tough to defend."

Silvey, a 5-foot, 11-inch junior guard and one of five returning starters, was one shy of her career best and tallied 21 of those points in the first half when the Salukis built a 20-point advantage after two quarters.

"She is a tremendous player and she gave them a spark early in the game," Buscher said. "Silvey is always moving and she never standing still. You can learn from that because she doesn't sit still."

SIU Carbondale teammate Abby Brockmeyer punched in 16 points. Nicole Martin (15 points), Gabby Walker (12 points) and Kristen Nelson (10 points) also hit in double figures for the Salukis.

The Cougars tried to claw their way back into the game the second half. Reserve Mikayla Kinnard, a 5-11 freshman from Louisville, Ky., gave them plenty of life. She scored 12 points overall.

"She's a competitor and Mikayla stepped up tonight," Buscher said. "That's how she can play all the time."

Kinnard noted, "I took what Coach Buscher said to me in practice as a challenge. She talked about playing tougher, and I think we showed more fight in the second half."

Bria Stallworth scored 12 points, Allie Troeckler logged 10 points, Christen King collected nine points and Zaria Whitlock had eight points for the Cougars.

"We didn't get the start we wanted, but I think we showed a level of togetherness at moments," Buscher said. "We showed a little more toughness in the second half. What we need to do is learn to sustain moments of good play."

The Cougars are idle until Wednesday when Evansville of the MVC comes calling at 7 p.m. SIUE then travels to Nebraska on Sunday, Nov. 17 before entertain local rival Saint Louis on Wednesday, Dec. 20.