In a season of ups and downs, the Austin Parkinson-led IUPUI (4-5, 1-1) women’s basketball program turned in a poor performance against Southern Illinois University (3-4), falling 77-63 in Carbondale.
The first half was one of runs, started by a Southern Illinois 7-0 run following the opening tip. After Parkinson called a timeout to corral his ladies and replace three of the five starters, IUPUI went on a 10-0 of their own before the second media timeout.
While it seemed both teams were dead even, the tide of the game changed when Dawn Luster was called for a flagrant foul following official review and SIU was awarded two free throws and the ball. The score ballooned from 10-9 IUPUI to the eventual 38-20 halftime tally.
“I would say this is the most disappointing loss since I’ve been here only because I know what we are capable of,” said Parkinson. “We said before the game that we have to rebound and we have to stop their two leading scorers, but they played hard and their two best players competed at a level that we didn’t.”
IUPUI would get as close as 18 in the early stages of the second half, but short bursts of points from SIU would push the lead to 30 at the under-eight media timeout. With SIU starters on the bench, the Jaguars pulled the final score within 14 but were never truly in the game after Luster’s foul.
“Our team defense is poor right now for whatever reason but I do know that when we play our next game and people come watch us on Sunday, we will play defense and we will guard somebody,” Parkinson added. “When you are on the road you have to have the right formula to win games and it starts with defense. We didn’t compete tonight but we will regroup and come back and play hard on Sunday.”
Freshman Nevena Markovic finished with a team high 12 points in her second career start, adding six rebounds and three steals. Emily Phillips had her best shooting performance of her IUPUI career going 4-9 from the floor for nine points, a rebound and an assist. Kerah Nelson came off of the bench for the second straight game and went just 2-10 from the floor with a team high three turnovers.
Cartaesha Macklin scored 27 points, grabbed five rebounds, and assisted six baskets, leading Southern Illinois offensively. Teri Oliver chipped in with 22 of her own, five rebounds and two steals.
IUPUI will face Indiana University-Bloomington on Sunday in The Jungle. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to secure their tickets. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. local time and can be followed on IUPUIJags.com or twitter.com/CampusCitizen.