Saluki Athletic Services
Four players hit double figures as the Southern Illinois women’s basketball team blew past Lindenwood-Belleville, 90-68, Friday night inside SIU Arena in the Salukis’ final exhibition game of the season.
Freshman Abby Brockmeyer led the way with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added 10 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive glass. Redshirt junior Celina VanHyfte tallied 15 points and six boards, while sophomore Kristen Nelson and freshman Makenzie Silvey each chipped in 10 points.
With SIU’s season opener against UT Martin on the horizon, ifth-year head coach Cindy Stein felt it important that her young team be forced out of their basketball comfort zones in both exhibition contests.
“In both of our exhibition games, I liked the fact that (our opponents) played a lot of five-out offenses which made every single one of our kids get out of their comfort zones,” Stein said. “You have to switch certain things- guards have to defend down low, our bigs have to come out and defend on top, and have to guard dribble attack. I think its good for us to have to do that.”
Ten of the eleven Salukis that dressed scored, with all 11 clocking at least 10 minutes of playing time.
Southern was particularly dominate on the boards, as they out-rebounded the Lynx, 41-to-24, which included 23 offensive rebounds that resulted in 28 second chance points. Brockmeyer and VanHyfte combined for 13 of Southern’s 23 offensive rebounds.
“The first exhibition game I didn’t find the right position as much as I would have liked to,” Brockmeyer said. “This game I felt more comfortable on the boards. I felt more comfortable finishing and I was a lot more confident.”
To make matters worse for the Lynx, SIU’s ball movement made for plenty of open looks, as the Salukis shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from three-point range.
“We shared the ball fairly well,” Stein said. “There’s times that we just really clicked. Abby’s doing really good things in there and Celina is playing really well. All of our bigs, for the most part, are very active and I think that gives us a great strength.”
The Salukis open the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 when they host the UT Martin Skyhawks. Tipoff inside SIU Arena is set for 6 p.m.