The Sycamores held its first opponent to under 40 points this season and the first time since Dec. 18, 2013 (vs. Chicago State) to bounce back from a two-game losing streak. ISU held the Salukis (4-19, 2-10 MVC) to just 26.7 percent shooting from the floor and 12.5 percent from beyond the arc (1-for-8).
ISU shot 42.9 percent from the field and spread the wealth on the offensive end, as 10 of 11 Sycamores who saw action scored buckets. They were led by sophomore forward Marina Laramie with 11 points and seven rebounds, including six offensive boards. Junior forward Jasmine Grier posted a season-high nine points and tied her season-high eight rebounds to lead on the glass.
Senior guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir chipped in eight points and tied for a team-high four assist and three steals. On the evening, ISU dished out 18 assist on 27 made field goals as junior guard Natasha Zurek matched Abdul-Qaadir with four assists.
They were back to their old ways as one of the top two teams in the league in steals, as it picked a season-high 17 including a season-high five from Zurek. ISU turned its picks into a gain, scoring 31 points off a season-high 27 forced turnovers on the evening.
Indiana State also out-rebounded Southern Illinois, 40-32, including an 18-11 advantage on the offensive glass.
Freshman forward Rhagen Smith drained a season-high eight points and two blocks along with a rebound and assist. Junior forward Chelsea Small scored all her points from behind the 3-point line on 3-for-3 shooting for nine total points, three boards and three assists. Small helped the Sycamores shoot a season-high 63.6 percent (7-for-11) from behind the line.
Junior forward Racheal Mahan increased her scoring streak to 54 games with six points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Kasey Johnson added seven points as she earned her second-consecutive start of the season.
Up next for the Sycamores, is a meeting with Evansville on Sunday at the Hulman Center. The Purple Aces defeated Illinois State on Friday in Normal, 75-62. Tipoff for Sunday’s game is set for 2:05 p.m. ET.
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