Salukis finish home stand against Loyola on Saturday

    Freshman Carlie Corrigan scored four crucial points in double overtime in SIU's 100-96 victory over Bradley on Jan. 2.

    Freshman Carlie Corrigan scored four crucial points in double overtime in SIU's 100-96 victory over Bradley on Jan. 2.
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    Jan. 3, 2014

    Southern Illinois (3-9, 1-0 MVC) vs. Loyola (4-9, 0-1 MVC)
     Date Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
     Time 2:05 p.m. CT
     Location Carbondale, Ill. - SIU Arena (8,339)
     Video Saluki All-Access

    Saluki Sports Network

     Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | Loyola Get Acrobat Reader
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Loyola | MVC
     Live Stats Gametracker | Valley Scoreboard
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki women's basketball will conclude its six-game home stand against the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers on Saturday, with tipoff scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at the SIU Arena.

    Head Coach:
    Cindy Stein • First Season • 285-215 (17th season) • 3-9 (1-0 MVC) at SIU

    Head Coach:
    Sheryl Swoopes • First Season • 4-9 overall (first season) • 4-9 (0-1 MVC) at LUC

    Bryce Williams (second season)
    Color Commentary: Logan Lee (first season)
    Station: WVZA 105.1 FM (audio also available on Saluki All-Access)

    Southern is 2-2 all-time versus the Ramblers, who are in their first season in the Missouri Valley Conference. The series dates back to 1982-83, when SIU swept a home-and-home with LUC with a 75-60 win at Loyola on Dec. 18, 1982, and an 85-59 win over the Ramblers on Feb. 26, 1984, in Carbondale. Loyola claimed the next series against the Salukis in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The Ramblers came into Carbondale and left with a 66-44 victory on Nov. 17, 2011, and LUC emerged victorious a year later when the downed SIU 85-73 in Chicago.

    Overall, SIU is 279-294 (.487) all-time versus the Missouri Valley Conference (formerly the Gateway Conference from 1983-92), which includes a 16-20 mark in the conference tournament. The Salukis are 263-274 (.490) all-time in regular season conference play dating back to its first season in the Gateway in 1983, and are 125-232 (.350) since the change to the MVC in 1992. The Valley has retained eight schools from the Gateway days (SIU, Bradley, Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Wichita State); Evansville joined the Valley in 1994, and Loyola most recently joined in 2013 to replace Creighton. Among active members of the Valley, SIU has an overall record of 270-294 (.479) and a conference mark of 235-251 (.484) dating back to 1983. In conference play (including the MVC Tournament), SIU has a winning record over three active teams: Bradley (42-23), Illinois State (34-32) and Wichita State (33-28); an even record with three teams: Indiana State (31-31), Loyola (0-0) and Northern Iowa (30-30); and a losing record against the remaining three schools: Drake (24-41), Evansville (18-23) and Missouri State (23-43). Among the three inactive Gateway/MVC schools (Creighton, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois), SIU was 46-36 -- which included a perfect 18-0 Gateway mark against WIU and a 15-4 Gateway record versus EIU.

    The 2013-14 season is the first in the Missouri Valley Conference for the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, who previously played in the Horizon League for 34 years since its inception in 1979. At the time Loyola left the Horizon for the Valley in July 2013, LUC was the sole remaining charter member from the beginning of the league. The Rambler women played in their first conference game this past Thursday, Jan. 2, at Evansville, where the Purple Aces ran away with a 75-57 victory.

    The Ramblers stand at 4-9 overall and 0-1 in MVC play after their 75-57 loss to Evansville on Jan. 2. LUC, which was picked to finish sixth in the conference and received one first-place vote, have been hampered by injuries and forced to start five different starting lineups in 13 games -- all after starting the same lineup for the first four games of the season. Senior forward Troy Hambric has been the focal point of the offense and a force for opposing shooters inside on defense. Hambric leads the Valley in blocks per game (2.0) and is ranked fifth in scoring (15.8 per game). Hambric's efforts in blocking shots is matched by teammate Ayrealle Beavers' ability to dictate the offense with her league-leading 6.2 assists per game. At 80 total assists, Beavers has 19 more than the second-most in the MVC (61, Wichita State's Alex Harden).

    LUC'S Troy Hambric posted a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but the streaky Purple Aces rode past the Ramblers, 75-57, on Jan. 2 at Evansville. UE started the game on an 18-2 run, which was followed promptly by a 21-6 run by the Ramblers by the final media timeout of the first half. The Purple Aces closed out the half on a 12-2 run, however, and pushed the lead to 17 in the opening minutes of the second half. Becca Smith came off the bench for LUC with 14 points, and UE was led by four players in double figures: Mallory Ladd (17 points, 16 rebounds), Sara Dickey (15 points), Kat Taylor (14 points) and Dakota Weatherford (10 points).

    In a wild game that involved nine lead changes and seven ties, the Saluki women's basketball team came out on top of a roller coaster double-overtime spectacle over Bradley, 100-96, on Jan. 2 at the SIU Arena. After tying the game to send it to overtime, and allowing Bradley to tie the game in the first overtime, the Salukis finally pulled out a victory over the Braves on a game-winning layup by Mercedes Griffin with 14.4 seconds left and a crucial defensive stop on the ensuing BU possession. Southern got phenomenal career performances out of Dyana Pierre (33 points, 18 rebounds) and Azia Washington (27 points, 15 rebounds), but it was the late bench play of freshmen Carlie Corrigan and Kim Nebo that ended up being vital to the Saluki victory.

    Southern's thrilling 100-96 double-overtime win over Bradley on Jan. 2 was a game that will be remembered not only by fans but by the SIU record books as well. Southern broke the school record in shot attempts with 92 against the Braves, toppling the previous record of 91 set on Nov. 21, 1980 vs. SEMO. SIU's triple-digit plateau was the first time the Salukis had crossed the 100-point plane since Mar. 5, 1984 -- the same game the school record for points in a game was set (101 vs. Indiana State). The combined 196 points scored registers as the fifth-most single-game points in a Valley game ever. The trip to double overtime was the first such game for SIU since Feb. 23, 1983 (Missouri, L, 83-76), and only the third in school history. Sophomores Dyana Pierre (33 points, 14-of-22 shooting) and Azia Washington (27 points, 12-of-19 shooting) set new career highs in both points, shots and shot attempts, and senior Sidney Goins (18 points) set a new career-high in three point field goals (6) and three-point attempts (14).

    The Salukis only scored eight bench points in its double-overtime victory over Bradley, but those eight points were crucial to SIU's success in the late stages of the game. Junior Ariel Haynes' lone point became the game-tying point to cap off an SIU comeback over the final minutes of the game. Haynes was fouled with 55 seconds to play and put on the free throw line, where she hit the first to tie the game 77-77, but missed the potential game-winner on her second attempt. In the second overtime, SIU received two surprising performances from freshmen Carlie Corrigan and Kim Nebo after three Saluki starters (Pierre, Shores and Washington) had fouled out. Corrigan took control of the game with 1:20 to play in the second overtime, when she got a layup to fall after being fouled on her hard drive to the rim. She missed the free throw, but Nebo was there to pick up the board. Nebo missed the putback, but Corrigan was on the other side of the glass for a rebound and another shot attempt, which fell as she was fouled again to tie the game at 94-94. After Griffin's layup to take the lead with 14.4 seconds, Nebo proved invaluable on the ensuing BU possession. After BU's Catie O'Leary missed a layup with six seconds, Nebo came down with the game-winning rebound and was promptly fouled. She sank her free throws for the final points of the game to push SIU into triple digits.

    Sophomores Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington were already having career seasons before SIU's win over Bradley on Jan. 2, but their stellar performances against the Braves have solidified them as inside forces in the Missouri Valley Conference. Currently, Pierre ranks second in rebounding (9.8), second in field goal percentage (.529), second in blocked shots (1.9), sixth in scoring (15.5) and seventh in minutes played (32.8). Washington ranks sixth in rebounding (7.8) and seventh in field goal percentage (.473).

    Sophomore center Dyana Pierre vaulted into the top-10 all-time in blocks in SIU history last game with her four blocks against Bradley on Jan. 2. After posting the fourth-most blocks in a single-season in school history in 2012-13 (36), Pierre now ranks ninth all-time with 59 career blocks. Pierre currently has 23 in 2013-14 and averages 1.9 per game, right now the second-best mark in the MVC. At this pace, Pierre will record the third-most blocks in a single-season for SIU in 2013-14 and climb up to second all-time in career blocks.