Salukis close regular season at Bradley on Saturday

    Sidney Goins is one of two SIU seniors playing her final regular season game on Saturday.

    Sidney Goins is one of two SIU seniors playing her final regular season game on Saturday.
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    March 7, 2014

    Southern Illinois (5-23, 3-14 MVC) at Bradley (7-21, 4-13 MVC)
     Date March 8, 2014
     Time 2 p.m. CST
     Location Peoria, Ill. -- Renaissance Coliseum (4,200)
     Radio Saluki Sports Network | 97.7 FM (Carbondale) | Saluki All-Access
     Notes Southern Illinois | Bradley | MVC
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Bradley | MVC
     Live Stats Valley Scoreboard
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball  | Facebook 

    The Southern Illinois women's basketball teams closes regular season play at Bradley on Saturday at 2 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on 97.7 FM in Carbondale with Bryce Williams on play-by-play and Logan Lee as analyst. SIU is trying to sweep the season series from Bradley. Southern has not swept a conference opponent since sweeping Evansville in 2011-12, and it has not won a regular-season finale since the 2009-10 season. A sweep over Bradley would be the first over the Braves since the 2006-07 season.

    The Salukis lead the all-time series with Bradley 42-23 in a series dating back to 1983. The Salukis also lead the all-time series vs. the Braves in Peoria, holding a 18-12 advantage. Southern has lost six-straight games against Bradley in Peoria, with the last win coming on Jan. 11, 2007. The winner of the game will be the No. 9 seed in next weekend's Missouri Valley Conference tournament and face Loyola. The loser of the game will be the No. 10 seed and face either Drake, Missouri State or Illinois State.

    Bradley is 7-21 overall and 4-13 in the MVC. Bradley started MVC play 1-7 but have won three of their last eight. Two of their four win came over Illinois State, and the other two came over Loyola and Evansville.

    Bradley is a fast-paced team that ranks third in the MVC in scoring at 69.1 points per game, but the Braves allow a league-worst 81 points per game, nearly 10 points per game more than any other team in the conference.

    The Braves have a balanced offense that features four players who average double-figures, led by Michelle Young at 14.0 points per game. Catie O'Leary averaged 10.3 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game, and Kelsey Budd leads the team in assists with 101.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois100(2OT)
    January 2, 2014
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Salukis win wild double-overtime thriller over Bradley, 100-96
    In a wild game that involved nine lead changes and seven ties, the Saluki women's basketball team came out on top of a roller coaster double-overtime spectacle over Bradley, 100-96, on Thursday at the SIU Arena.

    The Bradley Braves fell to an Evansville squad that has won seven-straight games on Thursday night, 73-55. Bradley stayed in the game and trailed by seven points at halftime before Evansville started the second half on a 17-5 run to put the game away. Michelle Young scored a team-best 15 points for the Braves.

    Southern Illinois got behind Loyola early and fell to the Ramblers 67-56. Southern fell behind by 19 points twice in the second half and fought back both times but only got within single-digits once in the loss. Dyana Pierre posted her third-straight 15-point, 15-rebound double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds, but Azia Washington (14 points) was the only other SIU player to score in double-figures.

    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 21 and is ranked fourth on the MVC's all-time list for career rebounding average at 9.2 rebounds per game. In 2013-14, Pierre ranks first in the conference in rebounding (9.5 rebounds per game), first in offensive rebounds per game (4.1), fourth in blocks (1.4) and first in double-doubles (12). In MVC games, Pierre leads the MVC in rebounding at 9.9 rebounds per game. If Pierre grabs 12 or more rebounds against Bradley, she will be just the third MVC player in the last five years to average a double-double in conference play joining former Saluki Stephany Neptune and Drake's Rachael Hackbarth.

    Southern Illinois has turned up its rebounding lately, winning the rebound battle in four-straight games. SIU has out-rebounded its opponents by an average of 10.3 boards per game in the last four games, including a +16 mark on Thursday at Loyola. Dyana Pierre has led the charge, averaging 14.0 rebounds in that stretch. SIU ranks second in the MVC in rebounding at 39.2 rebounds per game and first in conference play at 40.2.

    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 5.0 points per game. She has started the last 11 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 11-straight starts, Courier ranks second on the team in scoring. She is fifth in SIU history with 107 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. Pierre has 625 points and 544 rebounds in her 59-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 12 double-doubles in 28 games. She is also the active career double-double leader with 21 double-doubles. In two years at SIU, Pierre's 21 double-doubles are two 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 28 games this year, Pierre has scored in double-figures 19 times and has recorded double-digit rebounds an MVC-leading 13 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 21 and is tied for 13th on the MVC's all-time list.

    Pierre is also one of the top rebounders in the MVC. At 9.5 rebounds per game, Pierre leads the conference in rebounding and has the most 10+ rebound games of any player in the MVC with 13. In MVC-only play, Pierre leads the conference in rebounding at 9.9 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 40 for the 2013-14 season, which ranks fourth on the school's single-season list. With at least two more games to play, Pierre needs two more blocks to tie Cathy Kampwerth's 1988-89 total of 42 blocks, which ranks third in school history. Combined, Pierre's 76 career blocks already rank eighth in school history, and she is just seven blocks away from third-place on the school's all-time career list.

    As a freshman in 2012-13, Pierre ranked sixth in school history with 277 rebounds. She has 267 rebounds so far this season, which ranks 10th on the school's all-time list. With one more rebound, Pierre will tie Kelly Firth and Char Warring for eighth on the school's single-season list, and 10 more rebounds will tie her freshman campaign and Bonnie Foley for sixth in school history.

    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 12 of the last 15 games. After averaging .8 steals per game in the first 12 games of the season, Griffin has picked up 31 steals in the last 13 games (2.4 per game). In 17 conference games, Griffin averages 2.0 steals per contest. Griffin had five steals against both Evansville and Wichita State, and she picked up four more on Thursday at Loyola.

    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.

    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.