Southern Illinois put the clamps on the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears and earned a milestone victory Monday night at the Farris Center.
The Salukis defeated the UCA women, 39-37, for their first victory of the season in six games and the first for Cindy Stein as head coach. SIU also broke a six-game losing streak and a 22-game regular-season losing streak.
The Sugar Bears fell to 5-3 with their second straight defeat.
Coming into the game, three of UCA's five starters were averaging double-figures, but the Saluki defense held UCA to 25.9 percent (15 of 58) shooting from the field and 14.3 percent (two of 14) from 3-point range. UCA's 18 second-half points are the fewest SIU has given up in a half since Jan. 29, 2011, when SIU gave up 14 points to Indiana State.
SIU center Dyana Pierre played a large role in limiting UCA post Courtney Duever (13.1 average) to one-of-nine shooting and three points. Duever had 11 rebounds.
SIU of the game with :51 seconds left in the game after two free throws by Cartaesha Macklin put the Salukis up 38-33, but the Sugar Bears quickly closed the gap to 38-37 on consecutive layups by Deuver and Maggie Proffitt.
SIU's Hannah Shores missed the front of a one-and-one with 11 seconds left but Macklin rebounded and hit one of two free throws. The Sugar Bears weren't able to get a shot off as time expired.
UCA had no player in double figures. Proffitt, Micah Rice and Brittany Agee all had eight.
The Sugar Bears return to action at home at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon against Southern Mississippi as part of a doubleheader with the men, who play Nebraska-Omaha at noon.