Aces End Drake's Unbeaten Streak, Southern Illinois Nips Creighton in OT
Sunday, January 20, 2008

Evansville grabbed a big Missouri Valley Conference win over visiting Drake, handing the Bulldogs their first Valley loss of the season and picking up their fourth conference win in six games.  Southern Illinois needed overtime to earn a weekend split, topping Creighton 75-74 to even their conference mark at 3-3.


Evansville 62, Drake 57

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Evansville got past the visiting Drake Bulldogs, 62-57, on Sunday and knocked Drake from the ranks of the Missouri Valley Conference’s unbeaten.


Evansville clamped down defensively, forcing the visiting Bulldogs into a season-high 19 turnovers and just 39.2 percent shooting from the floor.  The Purple Aces also grabbed 38 rebounds, including 19 on the offensive end, to overcome a slow start offensively and stretch its winning streak to three games in a row.


Drake and Evansville battled back and forth all day long defensively, as neither team held more than a five-point lead until the final minute of play.  UE finally took control of the see-saw affair with 1:46 left in regulation, as junior forward Shannon Novosel hit a key three-pointer from the right wing with the shot clock winding down to give UE a 60-55 cushion.  Austin would then record her ninth and tenth points of the game from the free throw line to complete her first career double-double and give UE a seven-point lead, 62-55, with 38 seconds to play.  It would be the largest lead of the game.


Novosel led Evansville with 16 points, while fellow junior Robyn Jennings pitched in 15 points and six boards, including 13 second-half points.  Austin and senior guard Rebekah Parker also chipped in 10 points apiece, with Austin adding a game-high 11 rebounds and Parker dishing out a game-best six assists against no turnovers.  Turnovers played a huge role in the contest, as UE committed just nine turnovers against Drake’s 19, while holding a 15-7 edge in points off of turnovers.


Drake senior guard Lindsay Whorton led all scorers with 18 points, while fellow senior Jill Martin recorded a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Bulldogs.


With the victory, Evansville improves to 9-7 overall and 4-2 in the MVC.  Drake, meanwhile, sees its six-game winning streak snapped, as the Bulldogs fall to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in the Valley.  Evansville will now step out of conference play to travel to Lipscomb on Thursday night (7:00 p.m. tip-off) before returning home to host Southern Illinois in the sixth annual Women’s Hoops For The Cure game next Saturday.  Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. and tickets will be discounted to $2.00, with half of the ticket proceeds going to benefit the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Greater Evansville Affiliate.


Southern Illinois 75, Creighton 74

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's basketball team put six players in double-figures, committing just four turnovers, to pull out an overtime victory against Creighton, 75-74, Sunday afternoon in SIU Arena.

The victory moves the Salukis to 7-9 overall and an even 3-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play, splitting the first three weekends of league play. The Bluejays fall to 9-7 on the season, 2-3 in Valley play.

Southern led by as many as nine in the first half on two free throws by Tanaeya Worden with 7:43 left in the period.

Creighton used the following six and a half minutes to go on a 14-to-5 run to tie the game at 35 heading into the locker room at the break.

Creighton led most of the second half, its largest lead of five with just under 17 minutes left in the half.

The game was tied three times in the last minute and half of regulation. SIU's Erin Pauk put up two of her team-high 17 points with a layup to tie the game at 59. Creighton's Kelsey Woodard and Southern's Cortney Sales traded two jumpers each to put the game into overtime at 63-63.

In overtime, the Salukis went up by a quick eight points, Woodard scoring the final nine points of the overtime for Creighton to put the Bluejays up 74-73.

Southern came out of a timeout with 26 seconds left in overtime to set up a Jayme Sweere jumper to go up 75-74. Woodard missed a jumper for Creighton with two seconds left as Erica Smith grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

The Salukis capitalized on 18 Bluejay turnovers, turning them into 24 points, despite being out-rebounded by 15 (53-to-38) and shooting just 50 percent from the free throw line (11-of-22).

Along with Pauk in double-figures, Sweere, Smith and Ellen Young all put up 11 points each. Sales and Katrina Swingler chipped in 10 apiece.

Woodard finished with a game-high 25 points for Creighton.

The Salukis turnover total (4) ties a school record low set in a game against Memphis State in March, 1983.

SIU returns to the road for three games, the next game at Evansville, Saturday, Jan. 26 for a 5 p.m. tip-off.