SIU women’s basketball suffers setback against Northern Iowa

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – When Kelly Bond-White took the head coaching job at Southern Illinois in March, she knew what she was in for. 

“There’s a will. This conference plays hard,” she said. “That’s why I came here, because it’s a conference with great basketball, and people are going to make you rise to the occasion.” 

And in a 94-81 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, the Salukis’ effort on the defensive end was not up to Bond-White’s expectations. 

“It’s will,” she said. “It’s something that you have to have.” 

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

“Everybody on the floor has the foot speed to do it, but we have to play as one,” she said. “We can’t say ‘family,’ we can’t say ‘connected’ when we’re discombobulated on defense.” 

Ashley Jones notched her second consecutive 20-point game and sixth overall, but was held to just 4 points in the second half. 

Tamara Nard had a season-high 17 points, while Promise Taylor had 13 points in just 14 minutes of action. 

Bond-White said her team has the capability to make some noise when the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament begins on March 9. 

“My expectations are always going to be different,” she said. “I knew what type of season we could have, and we still can. I knew it was going to be a journey bringing these kids in, and I knew there would be ups and downs, but I do want to recognize when I see the efforts that are there.” 

So what does it come down to? 

“It’s just toughness,” Bond-White said. “That’s what I’m going to demand of our young ladies.” 

The Salukis (7-12, 4-6 MVC) return to Banterra Center on Wednesday to face Missouri State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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