Salukis Host Missouri State on Thursday

    Dyana Pierre is the MVC's active leader in career double-doubles with 18.

    Dyana Pierre is the MVC's active leader in career double-doubles with 18.
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    Feb. 26, 2014

    Southern Illinois (4-21, 2-12 MVC) vs. Missouri State (12-14, 7-8 MVC)
     Date Feb. 27, 2014
     Time 6:05 p.m. CST
     Location Carbondale, Ill. -- SIU Arena (8,339)
     Tickets Single-Game Tickets
     VideoSaluki All-Access ($)
     Radio Saluki Sports Network | 105.1 FM (Carbondale) | Saluki All-Access
     Notes Southern Illinois | Missouri State | MVC
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Missouri State | MVC
     Live Stats Valley Scoreboard | Gametracker
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball  | Facebook 

    The Southern Illinois women's basketball team tries to break a seven-game losing streak when Missouri State visits SIU Arena on Thursday evening at 6:05 p.m. CST. The game starts Southern's final home weekend of the year. The Salukis are supporting the "We Back Pat" initiative. "We Back Pat" supports legendary former Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. There will be information about Alzheimer's in the SIU Arena lobby, and the Illinois Chapter of Alzheimer's Association will be available to answer questions. "Courage" wristbands will be available for sale, with the proceeds going towards grants for research, education, and support for Alzheimer's.

    Southern Illinois trails the all-time series with Missouri State 44-26 in a series that dates back to 1978. The Salukis lost earlier this season to Missouri State at JQH Arena, 76-58. The last SIU win over Missouri State came on Jan. 19, 2012, at SIU Arena.

    Missouri State is led by sisters Tyonna and Bry Snow. Leading scorer Kenzie Williams, who averaged 14.8 points per game, suffered an ACL injury during a game against Loyola and is out for the rest of the season. Tyonna Snow averaged 13.7 points per game and has an MVC-leading 77 steals (3.0 spg) this season. Bry Snow also averaged double figures at 10.8 points per game and a team-leading 5.6 boards per game.

    Without Williams, Missouri State has lost four straight games after winning five in a row. The Bears are the third-ranked 3-point shooting team in the MVC, and they lead the league in offensive rebounding.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois58
    Missouri State76
    February 2, 2014
    Springfield, Mo.
    Southern Illinois Falls to Missouri State
    The Southern Illinois women's basketball team lost to Missouri State on Sunday afternoon at JQH Arena. Missouri State went on a 30-7 run that bridged halftime to take control of the game.

    The Missouri State Lady Bears fell into a quick 9-0 hole against Illinois State on Sunday afternoon in Springfield, Mo., but MSU closed the half on an extended 27-13 run to take a 27-22 lead at halftime. Illinois State used a JQH Arena record 38 free throw attempts over the course of the game to outscore Missouri State by 14 in the second half and top the Lady Bears 66-57. Tyonna Snow had 26 points and seven rebounds, but only six players scored for Missouri State in the loss.

    The Southern Illinois Salukis played a back-and-forth first half at Evansville on Sunday afternoon, but Southern's offense went silent in the second half. Trailing by four points at halftime, SIU scored only eight points in the second half of a 67-31 loss to the Purple Aces. Jordyn Courier led SIU with 11 points and made her 100th career 3-pointer early in the first half.

    Dyana Pierre MAKING ALL-MVC PUSH
    Dyana Pierre has made a push for All-Conference recognition in her second season at SIU. Pierre is on the brink of leading the Missouri Valley Conference in 10+ rebound games for the second-straight season. She is the MVC's active leader in career double-doubles with 18 and is tied for fourth on the MVC's all-time list for career rebounding average at 8.9 points per game. In 2013-14, Pierre ranks second in the conference in rebounding (8.6 rebounds per game), first in offensive rebounds per game (3.6), and tied for third in blocks (1.5) and first in double-doubles (9).

    Senior Jordyn Courier is on a roll to end her senior year. Courier didn't score in six of the first eight games of the year and totaled just four points in that time. Since, she has raised her scoring to 4.0 per game. She has started the last eight games for SIU and scored nine or more points in six of those games. She is averaging 8.1 points per game in that span and led the team in scoring twice. Courier is seventh in SIU history with 101 career 3-pointers.

    Dyana Pierre APPROACHING 500-500 CLUB
    Dyana Pierre is seven rebounds away from becoming the 20th player in SIU history in the 500-point, 500-rebound club. Pierre has 557 points and 493 rebounds in her 56-game SIU career. She would be only the third Saluki player since 2001 to join the 500-500 club. When she records her 500th career rebound, Pierre will be the fourth player in school history in the 500-500 club with fewer than 100 career games played.

    Pierre surpassed the 500 career points mark at Missouri State. The sophomore center became the 50th player in program history to score 500 or more points. After scoring 238 points as a freshman, Pierre eclipsed that mark in the 18th game of her second campaign. The sophomore is second on the team in career points, trailing only Cartaesha Macklin, who has 1,031 points in her career.

    Sophomore center Dyana Pierre has already exceeded her block total from her freshman campaign. Her 36 blocks both as a freshman rank fifth in school history for blocks in a single season, and her two blocks at Indiana State night gave her 38 for the 2013-14 season, which tied her for fourth on the school's single-season list. With at least six more games to play, Pierre needs four more blocks to tie Cathy Kampwerth's 1988-89 total of 42 blocks, which ranks third in school history. Combined, Pierre's 74 career blocks already rank eighth in school history, and she is just 9 blocks away from third-place on the school's all-time career list.

    Southern has started 12 different lineups in 25 games this season, and no one starting lineup has recorded more than five starts for the Salukis. The last two games, Southern started the same lineup for the first time in back-to-back games since Jan. 10 and 12. Dyana Pierre is the only player on the roster to have started all 25 games in 2013-14. Mercedes Griffin has also cemented her spot in the lineup, starting all 14 conference games, and Azia Washington has started 23 of 25 games this year. Pierre, a sophomore, has been a staple in the lineup for her entire career, collecting 52 starts in her 56 games, including the last 51 consecutive games.

    Dyana Pierre is the MVC leader with nine double-doubles in 25 games. She is also the active career double-double leader with 18 double-doubles, four more than Mallory Ladd of Evansville, who is second with 14. In two years at SIU, Pierre's 18 double-doubles are the most of any SIU player since Agenette Sumrall had 19 double-doubles in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Against Bradley, Pierre put up 33 points and 18 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. In 23 games this year, Pierre has scored in double-figures 15 times and has recorded double-digit rebounds an MVC-leading 10 times.

    Since Valley play began in 1993-94, only 22 players in conference history have recorded 15 or more double-doubles. Pierre is the active MVC leader with 18 and is tied for 18th on the MVC's all-time list. With one more, she will tie Sumrall for the SIU lead since 1993-94 and jump into a tie for 15th on the Valley's career list.

    Pierre is also one of the top rebounders in the MVC. At 8.7 rebounds per game, Pierre ranks second in the conference in rebounding and has the most 10+ rebound games of any player in the MVC with 10.

    Mercedes Griffin has stepped up on both ends of the court for the Salukis in conference play, nearly doubling all her statistics from non-conference play. Griffin totaled 14 assists in 11 non-conference games (1.3 per game); but she surpassed that total in the first four MVC games this year. Griffin racked up 17 assists (4.3 per game) in the first four games and has 35 in MVC play (2.7 per game).

    Griffin has picked up her scoring, too. After scoring in double-figures once in the first 13 games this season, Griffin has piled up 114 points in the last 11 games (11.4 points per game) and scored in double figures six times in that span, including a career-best 17 points at Illinois State.

    Mercedes Griffin has picked up more than one steal in nine of the last 12 games. After averaging .8 steals per game in the first 12 games of the season, Griffin has picked up 22 steals in the last 10 games (2.2 per game). In 14 conference games, Griffin averages 1.8 steals per contest. Griffin had five steals against both Evansville and Wichita State.

    With the team having only nine available players, all nine have stepped up and contributed during MVC play.

    •Carlie Corrigan scored a career-high nine points at Indiana State, which led the team.
    Jordyn Courier is averaging 8.1 points over the last eight games, leading the team in scoring twice in that span.
    Sidney Goins knocked down six 3-pointers--the second-most in a single game in school history--and had a career-high five assists in helping SIU beat Bradley 100-96 in double-overtime.
    Mercedes Griffin had a career-high 17 points at Illinois State and hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. Griffin has nearly doubled her output in every statistical category during MVC play from non-conference play.
    Ariel Haynes totaled 10 points, three assists, and six rebounds on a weekend road trip against Drake and Northern Iowa. She pulled in a career-best eight rebounds at Wichita State.
    Kim Nebo hit the game-clinching free throws in double-overtime to clinch SIU's conference win over Bradley. Nebo also posted a career-high 10 points at Missouri State.
    Dyana Pierre leads the conference in double-doubles (9) and 10-rebound games (10). She had monster performances in both of Southern's conference wins, totaling 33 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Salukis to their win over Bradley and 24 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Evansville.
    Hannah Shores scored a career-best 11 points vs. Drake.
    Azia Washington is second on the team in scoring and rebounding with 10.0 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.

    Six of Southern's losses have come by single-digit margins, including five games decided by five points or fewer. Twice, SIU has has lost a two-point game with an opponent jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining, dropping games to Austin Peay and Drake at the last second. In addition, SIU sent the game against Illinois State into overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer but lost 68-63 in OT to the Redbirds.

    The Southern Illinois vs. Drake game on Feb. 8 was Southern's Go Pink game. Southern Illinois wore unique, pink jerseys for the game. Ten winning bidders had the opportunity to put the name of their choosing on the back of a jersey, including the opportunity to honor a survivors or victims of cancer. The winning bids totaled more than $4,000, all of which is going to the Hope is Home campaign, Southern Illinois Healthcare's fundraiser for a new, comprehensive cancer center in southern Illinois. After the game, bidders kept were given their jerseys to keep. Combined with the three years of the Black Out Cancer annual football game and jersey auction, Southern Illinois athletics has raised more than $200,000 for the Hope is Home campaign.

    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.

    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.