Feb. 15, 2003
SIU trails 18-9 in its overall series against Creighton. Since 1997, the Bluejays have won 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Salukis. Creighton has also won five straight, including a 69-54 win in Omaha earlier this year.
Dawg Gone It!
After trailing by just one point (28-27) at halftime against Drake (2/14), SIU committed 15 fouls in the second half, which led to 22-of-26 Bulldog free throws. Drake also made 16 clutch tosses in the last 8:58 to seal its 73-59 win.
Dating back to 1998, SIU has gone 0-6 against Creighton on its own home floor. The last time the Salukis defeated the Bluejays at SIU Arena was in 1996 (77-67).
For the first time this season, only seven Salukis played in a game Friday against Drake. In addition to starters Molly McDowell, Hillary Phillips, Dana Pinkston, Tiffany Crutcher and Katie Berwanger, there were just two reserves who saw action, including Danette Jones and Jodi Heiden. Of the seven, four played 33 or more minutes.
McDowell Breaks All-Time Free Throw Record
Ranking third in the nation in free throw percentage (.917), Molly McDowell hit 9-of-10 at the free throw line against Drake (2/14) to become the school's all-time career leader in free throws. McDowell, who is 75-of-82 at the charity stripe this season, surpassed Char Warring who knocked down 326 freebees from 1980-84. Following Friday's game, McDowell now stands with 329 free throws in her career.
About the Bluejays
Creighton stands just one game out of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Sporting an overall record of 16-5 and 9-3 in league play, the Bluejays boast three of five starters scoring in double figures. Christy Neneman leads all scorers with 17.6 points per game, while Laura Spanheimer (11.2) and Dayna Finch (11.1) follow.
About the Salukis
SIU, who has occupied the 10th-place spot in the MVC all season long, remained there following a 73-59 loss to Drake Friday. Losing 13 of their last 15 games, the Salukis continue to be carried by Molly McDowell who averages 13.3 points per game. Dana Pinkston with a 9.3 points per game average.
Second-place Creighton brings a three-game winning streak to SIU Arena Sunday. The Bluejays, who are coming off a 84-64 win at Evansville (2/13), have also won a sizzling seven of their last eight games.
SIU made a season-high nine three-pointers in its 84-80 win over Evansville last Monday. Shooting 9-of-18 for 50 percent, Dana Pinkston accounted for six of the team's treys, including a clutch bomb that gave the Dawgs a 83-80 lead with 14.5 seconds remaining. Between the two teams, there were 23 three-pointers made, and three players who hit five or more apiece.
Katie Berwanger came up huge in the Salukis' win over the Aces last Monday. Berwanger who had scored just 18 points combined in her last four games, exploded for a double-double 19 points and 13 rebounds. Shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free throw line, Berwanger also dished out one assist and gathered two blocks. In addition, the double-double marked her third of the season.
For the first time this season, SIU had four of five starters score double figures Monday against Evansville. Dana Pinkston led all Salukis with 22 points, while Katie Berwanger followed with 19 and Molly McDowell pitched in 16. Hillary Phillips then rounded out the balanced attack with 12 points.
Lori Opp (Western Illinois, '88) is 18-56 in her third year as head coach of SIU. Eight of Opp's 18 wins have come against non-conference opponents. Meanwhile, Jim Flanery (Creighton, '87) is in his first season as head coach after serving as CU's top assistant for the past decade. In his 10 years as a CU assistant, the Jays amassed a 170-115 record and made three trips to the NCAA postseason.
Stealin' the Show
Hillary Phillips has posted five or more steals in two of her last three games. Averaging 2.2 thefts per game, Phillips ties for the team-lead with 44 steals.
Climbing the Charts
Molly McDowell's 23 points against Drake (2/14) put her at 14th all-time on SIU's career scoring list. Averaging 13.3 points per game this season, McDowell currently stands with 1,129 points. Additionally, she has scored double figures on 13 occasions this season.
22 or Over Only Please
Molly McDowell's 23 points against Drake Friday, marked the fourth time this season that she has scored 22 or more points in a game. Posting a career-high 35 points at Evansville (1/11), McDowell also scored 25 at Northwestern (12/14) and 22 vs. Illinois State (1/23).
Molly McDowell is the Missouri Valley Conference's active career leader with 326 assists and 188 steals. She is also one of seven current league players with 1,000 or more career points.
Since conference play began, Dana Pinkston's scoring average has gradually moved upward. Boosted by a 25-point performance at UNI and a 26-point game at Wichita State, Pinkston has gone from 6.8 to 9.3 points per game in the last 11 contests.
SIU has turned the ball over 22 or more times in five of its last seven outings. Most recently, the Dawgs committed 23 turnovers against Drake (2/14). Point guard Dana Pinkston has accounted for 93 turnovers this season, including five or more in her last three games.