Southern Set to Take On UNI Sunday

    Dyana Pierre ranks second in the MVC in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (9.6).

    Dyana Pierre ranks second in the MVC in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (9.6).
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    Jan. 11, 2014

    Southern Illinois (3-11, 1-2 MVC) vs. Northern Iowa (6-8, 2-1 MVC)
     Date Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014
     Time 2:05 p.m. CT
     Location Cedar Falls, Iowa -- McLeod Center
     Video None

    Saluki Sports Network | 105.1 FM (Carbondale)

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

    SIU and UNI have split 60 meetings between the schools, but Northern Iowa has won the last eight meetings between the schools. The last Saluki win came on Feb. 7, 2009, when SIU beat UNI 58-40 in Carbondale. The last time Southern won at Northern Iowa was Jan. 13, 2007, when the Salukis won 79-74. In that 2006-07 season, SIU went 16-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

    Northern Iowa, the preseason No. 3 team in the conference, comes into the game at 6-8 overall and 2-1 in the MVC. The Panthers have rebounded from a stretch of four losses in five games to close the non-conference season and started the MVC 2-1. UNI opened conference play with a loss to Indiana State but bounced back with a 20-point win over Illinois State and an eight-point win over Evansville on Friday night.

    The Panthers feature a balanced scoring attack that features three players averaging double-figures. Jen Keitel leads the Panthers in scoring at 10.9 points per game, and Stephanie Davison (10.4) and Madison Weekly (10.5) join Keitel in double-figures. Hannah Schonhardt averages 8.4 points per game, as well. Ten players play double-digit minutes for UNI

    The Northern Iowa Panthers built up a 17-point lead against Evansville on Friday night and held off a late rally by the Purple Aces to secure an eight-point lead. Stephanie Davison led the Panthers with 15 points, while Brooke Brown hauled in a career-best 13 rebounds.

    The Southern Illinois Salukis lost a heartbreaker at Drake on Friday night. SIU built a 12-point lead, but Drake went on a 21-4 run to get back into the game. The Salukis took a two-point lead with under a minute to play, but Drake scored the last four points of the game--including a offensive rebound putback with 1.5 seconds left--to get the 74-72 win over SIU.

    Mercedes Griffin had a career day for Southern, posting career bests with 16 points and seven assists while adding six rebounds and a steal. Griffin led four Salukis who scored in double-figures, including Azia Washington (12), Sidney Goins (12) and Dyana Pierre (10). All nine players on the roster played and scored in what head coach Cindy Stein called her team's most complete game all season. Drake came into the game as the best 3-point shooting team in the MVC, but SIU held the Bulldogs to 0-for-7 shooting from deep in the first half and 4-of-21 for the game.

    Azia Washington has come on strong lately for SIU. After scoring no more than eight points in the first five games of the season and no more than 14 in the first nine games of the season, Washington has scored 20 or more points in three of the last five games and averaged 17.6 points per game in those games. She posted her first double-double of the season with 27 points and 15 rebounds in SIU's double-OT win over Bradley.

    Dyana Pierre has made herself a double-double machine for the Salukis. Pierre has recorded a double-double in three of the last four games for SIU and has seven double-doubles in 14 games this year. In two years at SIU, Pierre has totaled 16 double-doubles. Against Bradley, Pierre put up 33 points and 18 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. In 14 games this year, Pierre has scored in double-figures 12 times and has recorded double-digit rebounds in eight games.

    Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington, the only two Salukis two have started all 14 games this year, have become two of the top rebounders in the MVC. Pierre ranks second in the conference in rebounding at 9.6 per game and leads the conference in rebounding in MVC games, averaging 12.0 boards in three conference games so far, which leads the MVC. Washington ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding in all games at 7.6 rebounds per game and ranks sixth in conference play, averaging 9.0 boards per game. Washington's 7.6 rebounding average would lead six teams in the Valley, and her and Pierre are the only duo in the conference that both rank in the top six in the MVC in rebounding in both all games and conference-only games.

    Sophomore center Dyana Pierre vaulted into the top-10 all-time in blocks in SIU history 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 eighth all-time with 63 career blocks, surpassing Saluki Hall-of-Famer Sue Faber with three blocks against Loyola. Pierre currently has 27 in 2013-14 and averages 1.9 per game, which leads the Valley. Pierre averages 2.7 blocks per game in MVC play, which also leads the conference. Pierre leads a Saluki team that ranks third in the conference with 3.9 blocks per game.

    Southern has improved its defense from a season ago. After allowing 74.5 points per game in 2012-13, head coach Cindy Stein's crew is allowing only 69.6 points this year, a 4.9 points-per-game improvement even after giving up 96 points in a double-overtime win over Bradley. The Saluki defense currently ranks fifth in the 10-team league after placing 9th in scoring defense last season. The team's field goal percentage defense ranks third in the conference this year (.408). The Salukis held Drake, who entered their Jan. 10 matchup as the best 3-point shooting team in the MVC, to just 4-for-21 from long range (19 percent).

    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.

    The 2013-14 season is the first at SIU for head coach Cindy Stein, who inherited a team that went 5-26 in 2012-13 and didn't win more than eight games in the previous four seasons. Stein comes from Illinois Central College, where she coached ICC to a 32-4 record and a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division II national tournament during her lone season in 2012-13. Prior to Stein, ICC had gone 16-16 in 2011-12. Stein's coaching profile includes a successful 12-year stint at Missouri and a three-year period at Emporia State to start her head coaching career. Over 16 seasons as a head coach, Stein holds a 282-206 (.578) record, three NCAA Tournament appearances, a Sweet 16 run in 2001 and three trips to the WNIT -- all at Missouri.

    First-year SIU head coach Cindy Stein spent 12 successful seasons in Columbia, Mo., at the helm of Missouri's women's basketball program from 1998-2010. Stein inherited a Tiger basketball team that went 11-16 in 1997-98 and turned that around to 21-10 and a trip to the Sweet 16 by only her third season at Mizzou in 2000-01. Stein's run with the Tigers saw 185 wins, five WNBA Draft selections and seven postseason appearances -- including three NCAA Tournament appearances (2001, 04, 06). Stein's players earned 24 All-Big 12 honors (four First-Team) and 46 Academic All-Big 12 nods.

    Coach Stein brings a brand new support staff with her to Carbondale. Andrea Gorski (associate head coach), Kat Martin (assistant coach/recruiting coordinator), Christelle N'Garsanet (assistant coach), Amanda Hanneman (video coordinator) and former Saluki head coach Julie Beck (director of operations) round out the new crew in the Boydston Center offices. Gorski comes from Concordia University, where she turned around a sub-.500 club into a national NAIA powerhouse in five seasons. Martin comes from Kishwaukee College, where she was the associate head coach for six seasons. N'Garsanet, a former standout of Stein's at Mizzou and a 2006 WNBA Draft selection, spent two years at Illinoic Central College -- including Stein's 32-4 season in 2012-13. Hanneman is also a former player of Stein's at Mizzou from 2006-10, and she spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Sonoma State. Beck returns to Carbondale for her 30th year in Saluki Athletics as the director of operations. Beck was an assistant coach under Saluki Hall of Fame head coach Cindy Scott from 1981-1998, took over as head coach from 1998-2000, and worked in marketing and group sales for Saluki Athletics an additional 10 seasons after her coaching career ended.

    Southern Illinois was voted to finish tenth in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2013-14 in a preseason poll release on Oct. 30 at media day at Loyola University in Chicago. Indiana State was chosen to win the Valley crown with 26 first place votes, followed by Wichita State in second place with 13. Southern was voted to finish eighth in 2012-13, but finished tenth at the end of the season after posting a 5-26 record, which included a 1-17 conference record.

    Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin was voted to the 2013-14 preseason All-MVC team, announced alongside the preseason poll at media day at Loyola University in Chicago. Macklin led the Salukis and was second in the conference in scoring in 2012-13 with 15.0 points per game and became the first Saluki in history to lead the Valley in assist average with 4.2 per game. Macklin also led Southern in minutes played (1,002), steals (42), free throws made (121) and free throws attempted (178). Southern has not had a first-team all-conference honoree since Carlai Moore in 2006-07.

    Dyana Pierre moved onto the SIU single-season during her freshman season in 2012-13 with 36 total blocks, the fourth-best total in school history. Pierre blocked a career-best five shots Nov. 17, 2012, against Loyola, making her only the second SIU player in the last 12 years (CiCi Shannon) to block five shots in a game. That total is tied for the eighth-highest single-game total in SIU history.

    The flagship station for Saluki women's basketball is WVZA 105.1 FM, although 10 regular season games will be broadcast on WHET 97.7 FM due to conflicts with SIU men's basketball broadcasts. Bryce Williams is in his second season as the full-time radio broadcaster for Saluki women's basketball, while Logan Lee enters his first season as the team's color commentator.

    The official Twitter of Saluki women's basketball is SIU_WBasketball. This account features team news as well as live in-game updates. Fans can also follow Saluki Athletics @SIUSalukis for news on all SIU sports.

    Coverage for every Saluki women's basketball game is available online though Saluki All-Access at A live audio stream will be available for every game and live video will be available for all home games. Saluki All-Access also has on-demand content for all 18 Saluki sports.

    SALUKI NEWS ONLINE is the official website for SIU Athletics. It is the best source for up-to-date information on the Saluki women's basketball team. Rosters, box scores, cumulative statistics, pre-game notes and other materials are available on the site. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read PDF files.

    SIU is 43-71 during the month of November since the 1974-75 season.

    SIU is 99-114 in the month of December since the 1974-75 season.

    SIU is 159-153 in the month of January since the 1974-75 season.

    SIU is 171-147 in the month of February since the 1974-75 season.

    SIU is 51-64 in the month of March since the 1974-75 season.