Jan. 25, 2010
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois hosts Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. tonight in the final game of a four-year home-and-home series.
70 points the magic number
Southern Illinois is 9-0 when it scores 70 or more points. Similarly, SIU is 9-3 when holding opponents under 70 points and 2-4 when opponents score more than 70.
Series versus Western Kentucky
The all-time series versus
Western Kentucky is tied, 10-10. The Salukis, however, have won six of the last eight meetings. Head coach Chris Lowery has a 2-1 career mark versus the Hilltoppers.
Non-conference foes at SIU Arena
The Salukis are 43-5 at home against non-conference opponents since Dec. 8, 1999. The only non-conference losses during that span were to Charlotte (twice), Louisiana Tech, Indiana and Butler. The Salukis are 4-0 against non-conference foes this season.
Impressive free throw numbers
The Salukis are coming off a season-best 22-of-24 shooting performance from the free throw line against Illinois State... In the last five minutes of games, SIU shoots 82.4 percent from the free throw line as a team, compared to 68.5 percent by opponents...Justin Bocot has not missed a free throw this season during the last five minutes of a game (10-of-10).
Salukis versus the Sun Belt
SIU has a 43-21 all-time record versus the current members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Sun Belt schools the Salukis have played during the past decade besides Western Kentucky have been Arkansas-Little Rock, Troy State and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Tony Freeman 4th in 3-point shooting
G Tony Freeman (6-1, 195, Sr.) ranks fifth in the conference in 3-point shooting (.443) and 10th in scoring at 12.9 ppg. The Iowa transfer has scored double figures in all but three games.
Kevin Dillard leads league in assists
G Kevin Dillard (6-0, 170, So.) leads the MVC in assists (5.2 apg). He recorded a career-high 12 assists at Bradley on Jan. 1 -- one shy of the school record set by Rob Kirsner against Wichita State in 1981. Dillard has recorded three point-assist double-doubles this year. Prior to this season, the feat had only been accomplished six times in school history.
Bench Scoring Much Improved
SIU is averaging 23.2 ppg from its bench this season, compared to 13.5 ppg last season. The Salukis have used a nine or 10-man rotation compared to seven or eight players last year.
At home versus MVC
From the start of the 2001-02 season through the end of the 2007-08 campaign, SIU posted a 62-2 record against MVC opponents on its home court. Since the start of the 2008-09 season, the Salukis are 6-8 at home against the conference.
Salukis 4-3 in games decide by five points or less
The Salukis are 4-3 in games decided by five points or less. SIU's last five games have been decided by an average margin of 3.4 points.
Gene Teague earns starting berth
C Gene Teague (6-9, 290, Fr.) made his first career start on Saturday versus Illinois State. He has been an effective post player for Southern in recent weeks, converting 73.6 percent from the floor in his last five games (14-of-19). He earned MVC Newcomer of the Week honors on Jan. 18 after scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively, against Creighton and Evansville.
Anthony Booker productive off the bench
Since returning to the bench, F Anthony Booker (6-8, 230, So.) is shooting .537 from the field (44-of-82). He also ranks fourth in the league in blocks this season (1.1 bpg).
Thirteen times this season, the Salukis have scored 40 or more points in a half. During the entire 2008-09 season, SIU had just eight 40-point halves.