Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State women beat SIU in Valley quarterfinals

The memory of that Feb. 12 meeting with Southern Illinois was still fresh in the minds of the Wichita State women’s basketball team.

A 10-point WSU lead turned into a three-point loss last month, and in Friday’s Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinal another lead seemed on the verge of slipping away as the Salukis had cut a seven-point deficit down to just one in the fourth quarter.

But the Shockers avoided another collapse, ramping up the defense in the final six minutes to grab a 73-60 win and a date with top-seeded Drake at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the iWireless Center.

“We made that mistake, and we’ve made it a couple of times and when we made that mistake again, we knew that we have to score on the other end and come back and get a defensive stop,” Rangie Bessard said. “I give credit to TaQuandra Mike, Tamara Lee and Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage for their hustle tonight because those three players on the defensive side tonight is what sparked us in the end.”

Bessard was a force in the second half, scoring 21 of her game-high 30 points while also pulling down 13 rebounds, her eighth double-double of the season.

She also had a pair of blocks and the Salukis had no answer for the 6-foot-1 junior forward.

“She’s a big body, she’s very strong,” SIU guard Kylie Giebelhausen said. “We were ready to outjump somebody but she wasn’t trying to outjump, she was going to outmuscle you.”

Both teams struggled out of the gate, a combined 8-for-33 in the first quarter and tied at 11.

The second quarter picked up, and Lauren Hartman’s three-pointer with three seconds left gave the Salukis (16-14) a 28-25 halftime lead. That lead was pushed to 42-35 midway through the third quarter before the Shockers picked up their defense.

Southern Illinois was just 1-for-5 and committed three turnovers in the final 4:51 of the quarter and Wichita State (15-15) took a 46-44 lead.

Mike had three steals and Keke Thompson added two takeaways and three blocks in the game as Southern Illinois committed 15 turnovers.

“I think that obviously their defense really put a lot of pressure on us to come up with a big shot,” SIU coach Cindy Stein said. “We tried taking it to the basket, we didn’t get it, we took some threes and they were sometimes rushed and they were all over the place. I’ve got to give credit to them, their defense stepped up and made plays.”

The Shocker lead grew to 51-44 before the Salukis rallied back to cut it to one, 51-50 with 6:23 remaining.

Wichita State finished on a 22-10 run to close out the game.

Wichita St. (15-15)—Preston 3-6 0-0 7, Bessard 11-22 7-8 30, Tompkins 5-9 1-1 12, Thompson 1-3 2-4 4, Mike 3-16 2-4 8, Lee 2-6 2-2 6, Lozada-Cabbage 2-2 0-2 4, Stovall 0-0 0-0 0, Lockhart 1-2 0-0 2, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-67 14-21 73.

Southern Illinois (16-14)—Nebo 5-9 2-4 12, Martin 2-4 2-2 6, Napier 4-16 0-0 10, Giebelhausen 6-16 0-2 16, Corrigan 4-9 1-3 11, Patrick 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Hartman 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 23-58 5-11 60.

Wichita St.

11

14

21

27

73

S. Illinois

11

17

16

16

60

3-Point Goals—Wichita St. 3-13 (Preston 1-2, Tompkins 1-2, Bessard 1-3, Williams 0-1, Lee 0-2, Mike 0-3), SIU 9-19 (Giebelhausen 4-8, Corrigan 2-4, Napier 2-5, Hartman 1-1, Nelson 0-1). Assists—Wichita St. 15 (Mike 7), SIU 15 (Napier 8). Fouled Out—Martin. Rebounds—Wichita St. 43 (Bessard 13), SIU 37 (Nebo 8). Total Fouls—Wichita St. 13, SIU 17. A—1,360.

MVC Women

At Moline, Ill.

Thursday’s Play-In Games

  • Illinois St. 51, Indiana St. 44
  • Bradley 57, Loyola 42

Friday’s Quarterfinals

  • Drake 64, Illinois St. 40
  • Wichita St. 73, S. Illinois 60
  • Bradley (12-18) vs. Northern Iowa (22-7)
  • Evansville (13-16) vs. Missouri St. (16-13)

Saturday’s Semifinals

  • Drake (26-4) vs. Wichita St. (15-15), 1:30 p.m.
  • Second two quarterfinal winners, 4 p.m.

Sunday’s Final

  • Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.
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