Southern Illinois Plays at Loyola on Thursday

    Dyana Pierre was named MVC Player of the Week after averaging 25.0 points and 26.5 rebounds last weekend.

    Dyana Pierre was named MVC Player of the Week after averaging 25.0 points and 26.5 rebounds last weekend.
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    March 5, 2014

    Southern Illinois (5-22, 3-13 MVC) at Loyola (9-19, 5-11)
     Date March 6, 2014
     Time 7 p.m. CST
     Location Chicago, Ill. -- Gentile Arena (4,486)
     Tickets Single-Game Tickets
     VideoFree Live Stream
     Radio Saluki Sports Network | 97.7 FM (Carbondale) | Saluki All-Access
     Notes Southern Illinois | Loyola | MVC
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Loyola | MVC
     Live Stats Valley Scoreboard | Gametracker
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball  | Facebook 

    The Southern Illinois women's basketball teams starts the last weekend of the regular season with a trip to Chicago on Thursday night to face Loyola at 7 p.m. CST. Though SIU was two games behind the field with three games remaining in the MVC season, the Salukis could still finish as high as a tie for eighth with two wins on the MVC's final weekend. Depending on the outcomes this weekend, SIU could be anywhere from a No. 8 seed to the No. 10 seed in the MVC Tournament. Regardless of all other outcomes, SIU has to beat Bradley on Saturday afternoon to climb out of the No. 10 position in the MVC.

    The Salukis trail the short all-time series with Loyola 2-3 after a loss earlier this season. After SIU won the first two matchups between the schools in the 1980s, Loyola has won three-straight games in the series. The Ramblers won in Carbondale in the 2011-12 season and topped SIU in Chicago last season. This year, in the second game of the MVC season for both schools, Loyola led the game from start to finish and by as many as 23 points before SIU closed on an 11-0 run in the 60-48 loss.

    Loyola started the MVC season 4-2, which including a win over the Salukis in Carbondale, but has lost nine of its last 10 MVC games, including the last seven straight. Loyola is in its first season in the Missouri Valley Conference, and it is led by first-year coach Sheryl Swoops.

    The Ramblers are led by Troy Hambric, who has proved to be one of the top players in the MVC this year. Hambric ranks third in the conference in scoring (17.5) and fifth in rebounding (7.3). Loyola's point guard, Ayrealle Beavers, leads the MVC in assists by a considerable margin at 5.7 assists per game.

    The Loyola Ramblers led Illinois State by five at halftime, but the Redbirds made 26 free throws in the second half alone to secure a 69-61 win over Loyola. Troy Habric led all scorers with 20 points and added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Taylor Nazon and Bailey Farley both came off the bench to score in double-figures, scoring 14 and 13 points, respectively.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois48
    January 4, 2014
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Salukis fall to Loyola, 60-48
    The Saluki women's basketball team came out flat in the first half and never recovered in time as it fell to the Loyola University-Chicago Ramblers, 60-48, at the SIU Arena on Saturday.

    The Southern Illinois Salukis pulled off the biggest upset in the MVC this season on Saturday evening, beating first-place Wichita State 64-59 at SIU Arena. The Salukis didn't lead in the game until under the four-minute mark, but once SIU got the lead, it never relinquished it. Dyana Pierre led the charge with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Mercedes Griffin banked in a long two-pointer with two minutes remaining to give SIU a three-point lead, and Griffin and Pierre made their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

    Dyana Pierre earned an MVC Player of the Week nod for her performance in two games last weekend. After posting 27 points and 18 rebounds on Thursday against Missouri State, Pierre put up 23 points and 15 rebounds in SIU's win over Wichita State on Saturday. Pierre became the first MVC player in at least 18 years to post back-to-back 20-point, 15-rebound games. She shot 20-for-35 (57 percent) on the weekend and had more rebounds by halftime of each game (8) than any member of the opposing teams had in the entirety of either game.

    Pierre became the first SIU player to earn MVC Player of the Week since Teri Oliver on Jan. 23, 2012. She is the 12th player in school history to earn the honor and just the fourth in the last decade.

    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 20 and is ranked fourth on the MVC's all-time list for career rebounding average at 9.1 rebounds per game. In 2013-14, Pierre ranks second in the conference in rebounding (9.2 rebounds per game), first in offensive rebounds per game (4.1), fourth in blocks (1.4) and first in double-doubles (11). In MVC games, Pierre leads the MVC in rebounding at 9.4 rebounds per game.

    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 4.9 points per game. She has started the last 10 games for SIU and scored nine or more points in seven of those games. She is averaging 8.8 points per game in that span and led the team in scoring twice. In those nine-straight starts, Courier ranks second on the team in scoring. She is fifth in SIU history with 106 career 3-pointers.

    Dyana Pierre HITS 500-500 CLUB
    Dyana Pierre became the 20th player in SIU history in the 500-point, 500-rebound club against Missouri State on Thursday night. Pierre has 607 points and 526 rebounds in her 58-game SIU career. She is only the third Saluki player since 2001 to join the 500-500 club.

    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.

    Dyana Pierre is the MVC leader with 11 double-doubles in 27 games. She is also the active career double-double leader with 20 double-doubles. In two years at SIU, Pierre's 20 double-doubles are one more than Agenette Sumrall for most of any SIU player since MVC play started in 1993-94. Sumrall had 19 double-doubles in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

    Pierre has put up some impressive numbers in several games. Against Bradley, Pierre put up 33 points and 18 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. She had 27 points and 18 rebounds against Missouri State and followed it up with 23 points and 15 rebounds in the very next game. Her two 20-point, 15-rebound double-doubles matched the other nine MVC teams combined this season.

    In 27 games this year, Pierre has scored in double-figures 18 times and has recorded double-digit rebounds an MVC-leading 12 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 20 and is tied for 14th on the MVC's all-time list.

    Pierre is also one of the top rebounders in the MVC. At 9.2 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 12. In MVC-only play, Pierre leads the conference in rebounding at 9.4 rebounds per game.

    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 she has 39 for the 2013-14 season, which ranks fourth on the school's single-season list. With at least four more games to play, Pierre needs three more blocks to tie Cathy Kampwerth's 1988-89 total of 42 blocks, which ranks third in school history. Combined, Pierre's 75 career blocks already rank eighth in school history, and she is just eight blocks away from third-place on the school's all-time career list.

    Southern has started 12 different lineups in 27 games this season, and no one starting lineup has recorded more than six starts for the Salukis. Southern started the same lineup for three-straight games before inserting Sidney Goins into the lineup for Senior Day on Saturday. Dyana Pierre is the only player on the roster to have started all 27 games in 2013-14. Mercedes Griffin has also cemented her spot in the lineup, starting all 16 conference games, and Azia Washington has started 25 of 27 games this year. Pierre, a sophomore, has been a staple in the lineup for her entire career, collecting 54 starts in her 58 games, including the last 53 consecutive games.

    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 47 in MVC play (2.9 per game).

    Griffin has picked up her scoring, too. After scoring in double-figures once in the first 13 games this season, Griffin has scored in double-figures six times in MVC play, including a career-best 17 points at Illinois State.

    Mercedes Griffin has picked up more than one steal in 11 of the last 14 games. After averaging .8 steals per game in the first 12 games of the season, Griffin has picked up 27 steals in the last 12 games (2.3 per game). In 16 conference games, Griffin averages 1.9 steals per contest. Griffin had five steals against both Evansville and Wichita State.

    Southern Illinois snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 64-59 win over first-place Wichita State on Saturday evening at SIU Arena. Southern had not won a game since January but dropped Wichita State into a three-way tie for first place in the MVC. SIU outrebounded the Shockers by double-figures while posting its third-lowest turnover total and third-highest assist total of the year. SIU tooks its first lead of the game will less than four minutes remaining and held on for the win.

    With the team having only nine available players, all nine have stepped up and contributed during MVC play. Every available player has played in every conference game.

    Carlie Corrigan scored a career-high nine points at Indiana State, which led the team.
    •Jordyn Courier is averaging 8.8 points over the last 10 games, which ranks second on the team. She has led 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 (11) 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.