Salukis host Creighton Thursday to open MVC play

    Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin

    Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin
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    Jan. 2, 2013

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team hosts Creighton Thursday to open Missouri Valley Conference play. The Salukis look to extend their winning streak to three games.

    Date: Thursday, Jan. 3
    Time: 7:05 p.m. CST
    Location: Carbondale, Ill.
    Site: SIU Arena (8,339)

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois64
    February 11, 2012
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Creighton tops Women's Basketball 80-64
    The Southern Illinois women's basketball team couldn't find an answer for several long Creighton runs in an 80-64 loss to the Bluejays Saturday at SIU Arena.

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    Southern Illinois Salukis (3-8, 0-0 MVC)
    Head Coach:
    Missy Tiber, Fourth Year (185-152 overall, 18-82 at SIU)
    Creighton Bluejays (8-3, 0-0 MVC)
    Head Coach:
    Jim Flanery, 11th Year (198-132 overall and at CU)

    SIU opens Missouri Valley Conference play against the preseason Valley favorite Bluejays. Southern trails its all-time series with Creighton 32-15 and the Bluejays have won the last nine matchups. SIU’s last win over Creighton came in Carbondale during the 2007-08 season. The Bluejays enter Thursday’s game with an 8-3 record coming off an 88-81 double overtime loss Sunday at Minnesota, which ended a six-game winning streak. Forward Sarah Nelson leads the Jays with averages of 12.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while guards Marissa Janning and Carli Tritz average 10.8 and 10.1 points per game respectively. Tritz also leads the team with averages of 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.



    SIU opens MVC play against Creighton Thursday looking to go above .500 all-time in conference openers. Southern is 15-15 in conference openers since the 1983-84 season having dropped its Valley opener the last two seasons.

    The Bluejays swept the series last season, including a 66-59 win in Omaha and an 80-64 win in Carbondale. In the first matchup, SIU made a late push but the Bluejays hit some timely 3-pointers to hold of the Salukis at D.J. Sokol Arena. Cartaesha Macklin tallied 12 points and seven rebounds to lead SIU while Ariel Haynes chipped in 10 points and six boards. Carli Tritz led three Bluejays in double figures with 17 points while Sarah Nelson had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. In the return game, Creighton shot 52.8 percent from the floor and the game was never close in Carbondale. Three Salukis scored in double figures highlighted by 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists from Macklin. Nelson led Creighton with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists.

    Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin leads SIU and ranks fifth in the MVC with an average of 14.6 points per game while freshman guard Rishonda Napier is second on the team at 10.0 points per game. Freshman center Dyana Pierre leads the MVC in rebounding and blocks with averages of 9.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Macklin leads the Salukis with an average of 3.5 assists per game.

    The Salukis survived a late-game push by the Chicago State for a 69-66 win Saturday on the road. The Salukis led by as much as 19 points in the second half before CSU shot 45.9 percent in the period and cut the SIU advantage to two points with four seconds left. SIU hit just 1-of-17 from 3-point range (5.9 percent) and 18-of-34 from the charity stripe (52.9 percent). Cartaesha Macklin paced Southern with 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds while Azia Washington turned in career highs of 17 points and 17 rebounds.

    SIU is amidst its first winning streak of the 2012-13 season as the Salukis closed non-conference play with their second consecutive win Saturday at Chicago State. The win over the Cougars marked the first time Southern has won consecutive road games since the 2007-08 season. A win Thursday against Creighton would mark SIU’s first three-game win streak since the 2007-08 season.

    For the second time in 2012-13, SIU had two players record double-doubles in Saturday’s win over Chicago State as Cartaesha Macklin (19 points, 10 assists) and Azia Washington (17 points, 17 rebounds) both doubled up. Macklin became the first player to have a double-double in assists and points since Molly McDowell posted 18 points and 11 assists against Indiana State on Jan. 2, 2003. She is just the third player to record double-digit assists in the last 10 seasons as Brooke LeMar had 10 against Indiana State on Feb. 25, 2011 and Katerina Garcia had 12 on Jan. 30, 2010.

    Freshman center Azia Washington was named the MVC newcomer of the week after her performance at Chicago State. The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native posted career-highs of 17 points and 17 rebounds for her first double-double as a Saluki. The award marks the first MVC weekly honor for SIU this season.