NORMAL – SIUE women's basketball trailed by as many as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter and cut its deficit to four, but the Redbirds escaped with an 90-86 victory on Wednesday at CEFCU Arena. The Cougars didn't roll over, outscoring the Redbirds 36-27 in the fourth.

"We kept fighting and battling," Head Coach Samantha Quigley Smith said. "All around, I think our pressure really made things difficult for Illinois State. This is the first game we've really been able to do it effectively, but I am just proud of our fight."

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Macy SilveyGraduate guard KK Rodriguez turned in her second consecutive 30-point game, finishing with a team-high 31. She shot 12-23 and 7-12 from deep, a new career high in three-pointers made. Her seven from beyond the arc are tied for second in program history. She also grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists.

Sophomore Macy Silvey also turned in a double-figure outing, her third straight, finishing the game with 15 points. She collected three steals and grabbed six rebounds, marking the fourth straight game with at least five boards.

SIUE trailed by 11 at the conclusion of the first half, shooting 39 percent (13-33) while going 7-16 from beyond the arc.

Illinois State maintained a double-digit lead for the entirety of the third quarter, but the Cougars flipped a switch in the final quarter, led by 11 points from Sofie Lowis. She concluded the game with 19 and shot 3-7 from deep in the fourth.

"I would argue the Missouri Valley is the top mid-major conference in the nation," added Smith. "For us to compete and keep fighting with them without giving up was huge. It easily could've been a 15-to-25-point game, but our players kept fighting and believed in one another."

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SIUE concluded the game 38 percent (30-79) from the field, 13-41 from deep. And 13-20 at the free throw line. The Redbirds shot 48 percent (28-58) while capitalizing on 25 of 36 opportunities at the charity stripe. Illinois State outrebounded the Cougars 53-35 in the game.

"We got some really great stuff out of KK," said Smith. "Sofie stepped up too. Her prerogative has always been 'shooters score', but when she starts to incorporate other parts of her game like defense, I think that's what's going to make her different. She got in passing lanes and made it difficult for Illinois State."

Ava Stoller led the Cougars on the glass with seven rebounds, two of which came on the offensive end. She contributed seven points and dished out a team-high seven assists. Halle Smith finished the game with six points.

Illinois State was led by DeAnna Wilson's 23 points. Kate Bullman led the game with 15 rebounds.

SIUE continues its three-game road swing at Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 18. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT.

"Our team is holding their heads high," concluded Smith. "We have to be hungry for our game Saturday at Eastern Michigan and bring the energy that we need on the road. Road wins aren't easy to come by, but we're going to be ready. Today was a step in the right direction."

Stay connected with the Cougars all season long by following @SIUEWBB on X, @SIUEWBB on Instagram, and SIUE Women's Basketball on Facebook.

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