EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Southern Illinois University women's basketball team erased a 13-point third quarter deficit to stun the Evansville Purple Aces, 70-57 on Friday night inside the Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
The Purple Aces (3-15, 0-7 MVC) went ahead 45-32 with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter, but the Salukis cut the deficit to seven (49-42) by the end of the period. SIU completed the comeback by outscoring the hosts, 28-8 in the fourth quarter.
"It was a much better second half," head coach Cindy Stein said. "I thought our first half was horrendous and I don't think we could've played much worse. I felt like we didn't have the mindset we needed to have to start the game and we talked about that at the half. The kids that started the second half played a lot grittier and had a different mindset offensively and we were able to finish."
The Salukis led 15-11 at the end of the first quarter but the Aces caught fire from behind the arc in the second, as they made five of the six threes they attempted in the stanza to build a five-point advantage (35-30) at the half. To make matters worse, SIU shot 31% (10-of-32) from the field in the second and third quarters combined, which included just 1-of-10 shooting to open the third quarter.
But SIU played locked down defense in the second half, especially when it came to rotating out to shooters on the perimeter. The Salukis held the Aces to just 21% (3-of-14) shooting from three in the second half. SIU's offense began to click in the fourth, as they shot 83% (10-of-12) from the floor to seal the win.
"We were so much more patient offensively in the second half," Stein said. "At halftime, we talked about how we had to execute our plays. In the first half, I don't think we ever got off the first side of the offense. We talked about how we had to move the ball more and use three to four sides of the floor per possession and we finally did that."
SIU's guards led the charge. Kristen Nelson scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the first half and added five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Brittney Patrick reached double figures for the third-straight game, as she tallied 11 points, two assists, two boards and a steal. Makenzie Silvey scored 7 of her 11 points in the fourth quarter and added two assists and two boards.
Abby Brockmeyer chipped in eight points and five rebounds while Payton McCallister and Gabby Walker added six points apiece.
SIU will go for its third-straight win on Sunday at Indiana State.
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