Feb. 21, 2003
SIU and Illinois State are deadlocked at 39-39 in its overall series which dates back to 1962. Last year, the visiting team was the winner in both games between the two teams. This season, however, the Redbirds posted a 65-56 win on Jan. 23 in Carbondale.
Dawgs Suffer Worst Loss of Season at
SIU suffered its worst loss of the season at the hands of league-leading Indiana State Thursday at the Hulman Center. The Salukis, who lost 92-53, have dropped three games by 30 or more points this season.
SIU turned the ball over a season-high 32 times Thursday at Indiana State. Averaging 22.2 turnovers per game, the Salukis committed a total of 63 miscues against the Sycamores this season.
Salukis Stun Creighton
SIU helped Indiana State win back sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a stunning 70-63 win over Creighton last week. Prior to Sunday's game, Indiana State fell to a first-place tie with the Jays after having suffered back-to-back road losses to SMS and Wichita State. The Saluki win, however, enabled the Sycamores to stay one game ahead of Creighton.
Dana Pinkston (5-foot-4) registered a double-double 16 points and 11 rebounds Sunday against Creighton. She shot 6-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-5 from behind the three-point arc. She also went 2-of-3 at the free throw line and dished out a team-leading four assists in 37 minutes.
McDowell on a Tear
Molly McDowell has averaged 21.6 points per contest in three of SIU's last four games. In 34 or more minutes played in each of those outings, McDowell shot 20-of-47 (.426) from the field and 3-of-8 (.375) from three-point range. She also made 22-of-25 (.880) at the free throw line, including a 9-of-10 effort against Drake (2/14), where she became the school's all-time career leader in free throws made (339). In addition, she dished out nine assists, gathered four blocks and had nine steals, as her trio of double-digit outings added to a total of 15 on the year.
Second Half Slam
After being held to just three points in the first half, Molly McDowell exploded for 23 points in the game's final 20 minutes against Creighton (2/16). McDowell regrouped to shoot a sizzling 7-of-12 from the field in the second half after having made just 1-of-5 field goals to open the game. The 23-point effort marked her second in three games scoring 20 or more points.
SIU stymied Creighton (2/16) with a 62-42 advantage on the glass. Katie Berwanger (13) and Dana Pinkston (11) accounted for 24 of the boards, as the Dawgs' shocking mark fell just two rebounds shy of a single-game record.
Third is the Word
SIU's all-time leader in free throws, Molly McDowell currently ranks third among NCAA Division I women's basketball leaders with a .912 percentage. McDowell, who has missed at the foul line just 10 times, is 85-of-95 on the year. She lists behind Morehead State's Kandi Brown (.941) and La Salle's Jill Marano (.935).
Shake, Shake, Shake
SIU, who has won two of its last four games, shook things up in the MVC race last week with its win over Creighton (2/16). Although SIU is currently in 10th place and three games out of eighth, mathematically, there is still a chance the Dawgs may make the league's postseason tournament. Obviously, there are a lot of things that need to happen, but the one thing that makes Saturday's game at Illinois State crucial is that the Salukis must beat the Redbirds in order to keep their hopes alive. A loss to Illinois State would pretty much eliminate the Salukis.
All-Time Free Throw Record
Ranking third in the nation in free throw percentage (.912), 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 85-of-95 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 337 free throws in her career.
Katie Berwanger has grabbed 12 or more rebounds in three of SIU's last four games. Averaging 6.1 boards per game as the team's leading rebounder, Berwanger has posted double-digits in rebounds on five occasions this season.
About the Salukis
Currently ranked 10th in the Valley, SIU has won two of its last four games, including a stunning 70-63 win over Creighton (2/16). The Salukis, however, will be tested by the Redbirds Saturday. After 22 games this season, senior guard Molly McDowell leads all SIU scorers with 13.7 points per game and 13.8 against conference foes alone. Dana Pinkston follows with 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds.
About the Redbirds
Illinois State holds a three-game lead over the Salukis as the league's eighth-place team. Coming off a 70-63 loss to Evansville Thursday, the Redbirds enter Saturday's game led by Taren O'Brien who is averaging 9.6 points per game. Jaci McCormack, this week's MVC Player of the Week, follows with 8.3 points, as ISU does not have one Redbird scoring in double figures this season.
SIU is 2-8 on the road this season. At this time last year, the Salukis snapped a school record 15-game losing streak at Illinois State.
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 has registered double-doubles in two of the Salukis' last four games. After posting 19 points, 13 rebounds against Evansville (2/10), the junior from Lake Zurich, Ill., turned around two games later to record 10 points and 13 boards. Berwanger, who averages, 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds this season, leads SIU with four double-doubles this year.