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    Jan. 10, 2006

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    By Jeff Honza

    Date: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006
    Tip Off: 7:05 p.m., CST
    Site: Hammons Student Center (Springfield, Mo.)
    The Series: MSU leads, 31-22
    Head Coaches: SIU: Dana Eikenberg (9-31, 3-19 MVC/2nd Year).
    MSU: Katie Abrahamson-Henderson (77-31, 42-15 MVC/4th Year)
    Rankings: Neither team is ranked
    Audio Webcast:www.radiospringfield.com
    Television:Local Mediacom Channel
    Livestats: www.missouristatebears.com

    Better on the Road
    Even though SIU has lost 14 of its last 16 road games and is 2-5 away from home this season, the Salukis are putting up better numbers as the visiting team than they are as the home team. SIU is averaging 70.7 points per game on the road compared to 64.2 at home. The Dawgs are also making 45 percent (195-of-433) of their field goals in away games as opposed to 43.1 percent (151-of-350) of their shots at home.

    The Last Time . . .
    SIU beat an MVC opponent on the road was on Dec. 30 when the Dawgs opened league play with a 87-65 win at Illinois State. The win marked SIU's first in a conference road game since the Salukis won at Bradley, 78-75, on Jan. 31, 2004.

    Salukis .500 After First Four League Games
    SIU split a pair of MVC games at home and on the road to start league play at 2-2 for the first time since 1999-00. The Dawgs, who opened Valley play against the same four opponents that year as well, beat Indiana State (64-62) and lost to Illinois State (59-47) on the road, before defeating Bradley (58-50) and losing to Northern Iowa (57-49) at home.

    Haunted Hammons
    Hammons Student Center, which serves as the home of the Lady Bears, is a tough place to play. With an average of 6,505 fans over its first six home dates this season, the Hammons Center possesses one of the biggest homecourt advantages in the Valley. SIU has fallen in its last eight visits to the Hammons Center. The Salukis are also 10-18 all-time at that facility.

    Bear Trap
    SIU has been outscored, 650-416, over the last four years against Missouri State. The Lady Bears have held the Dawgs to no more than 63 points in each of those matchups. The Salukis also lost their last four games against MSU in Springfield by 30 or more points, including a school record 54-point loss (89-35) in 2004.

    Series History
    SIU trails its all-time series versus Missouri State, 31-22. Since 1991, the Dawgs have gone a stunning 4-30 against the Lady Bears. SIU also enters Thursday's game on a 17-game losing streak against MSU, as the Salukis haven't beaten the Lady Bears since Feb. 22, 1997 (80-65, in Springfield, Mo.).

    Seven in a Row
    Carlai Moore has led the Salukis in scoring for seven-straight games and has poured in 23 or more points in three of those contests. Moore, the Valley's third-leading scorer with 18.6 ppg, also posted double figures in the scoring column in all but one game this season. She is the first Saluki to lead her team in scoring for seven or more consecutive games since Terica Hathaway topped the Dawgs in nine-straight from Jan. 9-Feb. 6, 1999.

    Moore on that Stretch
    Carlai Moore averaged 21.4 points, made 63.3 percent (64-of-101) of her field goals and knocked down 84.6 percent (22-of-26) of her free throws in her last seven games. She also grabbed 35 rebounds, dished out seven assists, had six steals and gathere one block, as she now leads the Valley in field goal percentage with a .594 mark. Closing In Carlai Moore has scored 242 points in 13 games this season and is 58 shy of reaching 300 on the year. The most number of points a Saluki has scored in a season in the last five years was 407 by Molly McDowell in 2002-03.

    Another Big Week
    After missing the last 10:15 of the Indiana State game due to a strained muscle in her right leg, Carlai Moore returned to the court to average 17.5 points in two games for SIU last week. Moore, who hails from Kansas City, Kan., led the Dawgs with 12 points against Northern Iowa on Jan. 5 and 23 against Bradley on Jan. 7. She also knocked down a go-ahead jumper in the paint with 10 seconds left to help seal SIU's 66-64 come-from- behind victory against the Braves. On the week, Moore made 16-of-32 (.500) field goals and 3-of-4 free throws, while pulling down seven rebounds and collecting three steals.

    Wake Up Call
    Jayme Sweere scored double-digits for the ninth time this season with 19 against Bradley on Jan. 7. Sweere, who was held out of the starting lineup for the first time this year, responded by shooting 6-of-17 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. She also led the Salukis with nine rebounds, dished out three assists, gathered one block and had one steal in 29 minutes. Sweere's 19 points surpassed her previous two-game total of 16, which came against Northern Iowa (11) and Indiana State (5). A native of Springfield, Mo., Sweere looks to have a big game when she returns to her hometown to play Missouri State Thursday.

    Defending the Trey
    The Salukis lead the MVC in three-point field goal percentage defense after 13 games this season. SIU's opponents are averaging just 3.2 treys per game for a mere .277 (41-of-148) percentage. The Dawgs limited their first four conference opponents to a combined to just 17.9 percent (7-of-39) from behind the arc.

    NCAA National Statistics Update
    In the latest NCAA Division I women's basketball statistics released on Jan. 9, SIU ranked 25th in free throw percentage (.753) and is 28th in turnovers per game (14.5). Individually, Carlai Moore ranks 17th in field goal percentage (.594, minimum of 5 FG made per game).

    Big Key
    Opponents have averaged 29.3 points inside the paint in SIU's last three outings. Indiana State roughed up the Dawgs for a 38-18 mark underneath, while Northern Iowa outscored SIU, 24-12 down low. Most recently, Bradley outscored SIU, 26-8.

    About the Lady Bears
    Missouri State was picked second in the Valley's preseason poll, but is off to an 0-3 MVC start, as one of three teams remaining without a league win. The Lady Bears enter Thursday's game after losing to Wichita State (92-89) in overtime at home and both Drake (70-63) and Creighton (78-57) on the road. Senior guard Kari Koch, the league's Most Valuable Player in 2003-04, ranks fourth in the nation in scoring average with 21.6 points per game. She is also 12th among national leaders in three-point percentage with a .482 clip. As a team, MSU leads the league in free throw percentage (.761).



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