The Wichita State women’s basketball team fell to Southern Illinois 64-59 on Saturday night inside SIU Arena.
Alex Harden scored 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists. Michelle Price scored 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
The Shockers took an 8-5 lead into the first media timeout, fueled by two Alie Decker jumpers. Then, Kelsey Jacobs hit a two-point jumper, followed by a Michaela Dapprich three-pointer at the 13:51 mark to put Wichita State up 13-5.
Back-to-back layups by Alex Harden gave the Shockers their first double-digit lead of the game, 19-9 with 9:31 remaining in the first half. Six minutes later, Harden connected on an old-fashioned three-point play to give Wichita State a 12-point advantage, 28-16.
Another layup from Harden with 11 second to go in the half gave the Shockers a 30-20 advantage going into the locker room. Harden led all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Decker and Jamillah Bonner each had four points at the break. Wichita State shot 13-for-28 (.464) from the field and forced nine Saluki turnovers.
Michelle Price scored the first six points of the second half for Wichita State, giving her team a 36-24 lead with 17:21 left in the game.
The lead stayed around 10 until midway through the half. After a pair of free throws from Price, Southern Illinois went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to three, 46-43, with a little more than 10 minutes to go.
A Decker three-pointer at the 7:52 mark put the Shockers back ahead eight, but the Salukis answered with a three of their own and then two free throws on the next possession to cut the Wichita State lead again to three, 55-52.
A layup with just less than four minutes remaining gave Southern Illinois its first lead of the game 56-55. After the Salukis went ahead by as many as three, a two-point jumper from the corner by Jaleesa Chapel 1:27 remaining in the game cut the deficit to one, 60-59, but the Shockers were not able to regain the lead an fell 64-59.
Wichita State shot 23-for-53 (.430) for the game and 11-for-13 (.850) from the free-throw line. The Shockers were out-rebounded 38-26.
The Shockers will return home to Charles Koch Arena for their final game of the regular-season on Sun., Mar. 9 against Missouri State at 2 p.m.