Freshman guard Rishonda Napier
Feb. 28, 2013
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois women's basketball team opens its final homestand of the season Friday night against Bradley.
Date: Friday, March 1
Time: 7:05 p.m. CST
Location: Carbondale, Ill.
Site: SIU Arena (8,339)
Radio: WVZA 105.1 FM
Play-by-play by Bryce Williams
Color commentary by Johnny Sole
Southern Illinois Salukis (4-21, 1-13 MVC)
Interim Coach: Adrianne Harlow, First Year (0-9 overall, 0-9 at SIU)
Bradley Braves (11-14, 5-9 MVC)
Head Coach: Mike Brooks, First Year (16-39 overall, 11-14 at Bradley)
SIU VS. BRADLEY
SIU leads its all-time series with Bradley 41-23, but the Braves have won 10 straight meetings. Bradley enters the matchup at 11-14 overall and 5-9 in the MVC. The Braves play a five-guard lineup and are led by four players that average double figures scoring. Shronda Butts leads Bradley at 12.4 points per game while Katie Yohn averages 11.0 points, Catie O'Leary averages 10.8 points and Kelsey Budd averages 10.7 points per game. O'Leary is tops on the team in rebounding at 7.0 per game and Butts leads the team with an average of 3.5 assists per game. Bradley leads the MVC in scoring with an average of 72.2 points per game.
LEADING THE SALUKIS
Sophomore guard Cartaesha Macklin leads SIU and ranks fifth in the MVC with an average of 14.3 points per game while freshman guard Rishonda Napier is second on the team at 10.8 points per game. Freshman center Dyana Pierre leads the MVC in rebounding with a team-leading 8.6 per game, and ranks second in the Valley with an average of 1.1 blocks per game. Macklin leads the Salukis and ranks second in the Valley with an average of 3.9 assists per game.
HOT SHOOTING SHOCKERS DOWN SIU
SIU couldn't contain hot-shooting Wichita State on its senior night in an 80-55 Shocker win. WSU shot 55.2 percent from the field and matched its season high in scoring in the win. Cartaesha Macklin scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds while Azia Washington had nine points and Jordyn Courier and Rishonda Napier both had eight points for SIU. Darice Fountain led WSU with 17 points.
PIERRE COMING ON STRONG
Redshirt-freshman center Dyana Pierre has been a force for SIU the last two weeks, posting double-doubles in three out of her last four games and averaging 11.8 points and 10.5 rebounds in that span. The recent string has elevated the Port St. Lucie, Fla., native back into the MVC's lead in rebounding with an average of 8.6 boards per game. Pierre scored a career-high 18 points to go along with 15 rebounds last Thursday against Missouri State for her seventh double-double of the season, and her 10th game with double-digit rebounds. With four regular season games remaining, Pierre sits just one block and 41 rebounds shy of entering SIU's single-season top 10 list in both categories.
SECOND HALF BLUES
SIU's loss to Missouri State last Thursday marked the second consecutive loss in which the Salukis held a lead at halftime. In both games, had extreme dips in their shooting percentage between the first and second periods. SIU's shooting efficiency dropped 34.5 percentage points after the break last Saturday against Indiana State and fell 13 points Thursday at Missouri State. SIU is 4-3 overall on the season when holding a lead at half.
SALUKIS VS. THE STATE
Southern played three non-conference games against in-state opponents (Chicago State, Loyola-Chicago and SIU Edwardsville). Along with its conference matchups against Bradley and Illinois State, the Salukis will play seven total games in Illinois this year. SIU is 229-141 all-time against other Illinois schools, including 2-4 this season.
NAPIER MOVING UP
Freshman guard Rishonda Napier is on track to finish the season on SIU's top 10 freshman scoring list. The Burbank, Calif., native sits at 273 points through last week, needing just 7 points to tie No. 10 Mary Boyes (1979-80) at 280.
MACKLIN FEELING MORE AT HOME
Despite holding SIU's highest scoring average for a majority of the season, Cartaesha Macklin didn't lead the team in scoring in its first eight home games. Macklin has turned the tide in the past month, however, leading the Salukis in scoring in each of their last three home games. She posted her highest scoring total at home this season with 18 points February 16 against Indiana State.