SIU vs. Tennessee Tech Game Notes

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    November 28, 2000

    Southern Illinois (1-1) vs. Tennessee Tech University (1-2)
    Wednesday, Nov. 29 / 7:05 p.m. / SIU Arena / Carbondale, Ill.

    2000-01 HOME OPENER . . . Southern Illinois University's women's basketball team plays host to Tennessee Tech in its 2000-01 home opener Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. The Salukis, who are 145-64 all-time at SIU Arena, will try to put a stop to the Golden Eaglettes' three-game winning streak that currently stands in the 13-year old rivalry.

    THE SERIES . . . SIU and Tennessee Tech rekindles a series that made its debut in 1987 when the Golden Eaglettes defeated the Salukis 73-65 in Cookeville, Tenn. Since then, both teams have fought to an overall mark of 7-6 which currently stands in favor of TTU. Although the Golden Eaglettes have taken the previous three meetings which included last year's 74-64 win in Cookeville, Tenn., the Salukis will hope to prevail as the Dawgs hold a 25-13 advantage over their opponents in home openers.

    THE LAST TIME WE MET . . . Last year's trip back from Tennessee Tech was a long one as the Salukis suffered a disappointing 74-64 loss to the Golden Eaglettes. After setting first half season-highs with 34 points and a .560 field goal percentage, the Salukis fell hard the second time out on the floor. Instead of the 4-for-6 show the Salukis put on in the first half from three-point range, SIU went ice cold converting on only 1-of-7 of its bombs. The only trey came from freshman Janina Lopez, (no longer with the team) at the final buzzer. The poor shooting also dropped SIU's field goal percentage from 56 percent to 38 percent.

    Despite the loss, however, SIU managed to have two of its players record season-best performances at the time. Lopez shot 75 percent from the field including a 4-of-5 three-point effort to score a career-high 16 points while junior Terica Hathaway registered 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

    SALUKI FLASHBACK . . . The Saluki (1-1) women suffered their first loss of the year 79-74 to undefeated University of Louisiana-Lafayette (3-0) Saturday at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.

    SIU cut the lead to 77-74 with :26 to play, but the Ragin' Cajuns hit two free throws to seal the victory. SIU battled back from a 13 point deficit with 7:13 to play, with an 18-10 run before the final two Louisiana-Lafayette points ended the scoring.

    Terica Hathaway led the Salukis with 23 points, eight rebounds, five steals, and three assists, while shooting 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Angela Tolbert also added 14 points and Geshla Woodard chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds. The Salukis were 15-of-20 (.750) from the line for the game.

    THE COACHES . . . Southern Illinois University head coach Lori Opp (Western Illinois '88) enters her first season at the helm of the Saluki women's basketball program. Opp (Havana Ill.), who was named head coach in August, spent the last two seasons as the Salukis' assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. Prior to SIU, Opp served as a graduate assistant coach at Western Illinois (1988-90) and an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois (1990-93), Indiana State (1994-95), and Murray State (1995-98). With over 11 years of Division I coaching experience, Opp brings an unlimited amount of knowledge and enthusiasm to this year's squad as she is now the sixth head coach in the program's 41-year history.

    Tennessee Tech's Bill Worrell (Tennessee Tech, '68) enters Wednesday's matchup in his 15th season as head coach of the Golden Eaglettes. During his 14-year stint, Worrell has guided his teams to eight NCAA appearances and nine Ohio Valley Conference Championships. Currently with an all-time record of 289-133, Worrell was also named OVC Coach-of-the-Year on four occasions.

    Saluki Probable Starters

    G11Molly McDowell5-10So.Fillmore, Ill.2-29.05.0
    G22Terica Hathaway5-10Sr.Providence, Ky.2-216.56.5
    G25Holly Teague5-7Jr.Poplar Bluff, Mo.2-210.04.5
    F33Geshla Woodard6-0Jr.Jackson, Ala.2-25.56.5
    C55Kristine Abramowski6-3Sr.Freeport, Ill.2-28.57.5

    Golden Eaglette Probable Starters

    G10Misty Garrett5-6Jr.Livingston, Tenn.3-25.34.3
    G20Rachael Gobble5-8Sr.Columbia, Tenn.3-215.74.0
    G22Allison Clark5-4Jr.Shelbyville, Tenn.3-25.73.0
    F42Iesha Jones6-1Sr.Rock Island, Ill.3-24.32.3
    C50Janet Holt6-0Jr.Lynchburg, Tenn.3-221.37.7

    ABOUT THE SALUKIS . . . Southern Illinois returns to SIU Arena for its 2000-01 home opener after a two-game roadswing in Chicago, Ill., and Lafayette, La. The Salukis, 1-1, opened their season with a 57-40 win over Illinois-Chicago (11/18), but fell short to Louisiana-Lafayette 79-74 (11/25).

    Senior Terica Hathaway stands as the Salukis' top gun on the season averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Hathaway will look to carry her momentum over from the team's previous outing at Louisiana-Lafayette which featured the Providence, Ky., native scoring 23 points. In addition to her scoring mark, Hathaway pulled down eight rebounds, dished out three assists, and posted a career-high five steals in 37 minutes of turnover-free basketball.

    Junior transfer Holly Teague also poses a threat for the Golden Eaglette defense. Teague currently stands as the team's second leading scorer with an average of 10 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. In 28.5 minutes a contest, Teague also compiled five steals while dishing out seven assists.

    SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH . . . Tennessee Tech enters Wednesday's contest with a 1-2 record after the Golden Eaglettes garnered their first win last Tuesday in Cookeville, Tenn.

    TTU made easy work of East Tennessee State winning by a count of 90-60. Prior to their win over the Buccaneers, the Golden Eaglettes dropped their opening two games to Boston College (80-64) and Arkansas State (71-61) at the Michigan State Tournament.

    Junior sensation Janet Holt, the 2000 Ohio Valley Conference Player-of-the-Year, leads the Golden Eaglettes in scoring this season averaging 21.3 points per game while senior Rachael Gobble follows in second with an average of 15.7. Gobble is coming off a remarkable career-high 33-point (9-of-12 from the floor, 6-of-6 from the free throw line) which included an individual school record nine three-pointers. For the game, Tennessee Tech knocked down a total of 13 treys which also marked a school record for most in a single game.

    SALUKIS TABBED EIGHTH IN THE VALLEY'S PRESEASON POLL . . . Southern Illinois was voted eighth in this year's Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll which is exactly where the Salukis finished last season after its 5-13 performance in league play. SIU received 102 votes to just beat Illinois State (101) for the eighth spot. Southwest Missouri State was picked the league favorite for the second time in the past three years and fourth in the last six to win the conference. Drake, who won the MVC title outright a year ago, was then picked second while Evansville was chosen third rounding out the top three in this year's poll.

    REBOUNDS A PLENTY . . . In two games, Southern Illinois has been potent on the glass as the Salukis currently hold a 93-58 advantage over their opponents. Averaging 46 rebounds per game, Southern Illinois has been most effective on the boards in the second half, where the Dawgs have gathered 49 of their 93 rebounds. SIU currently leads the Missouri Valley Conference in rebounding offense (46.5), rebounding defense (29.0), and rebounding margin (+17.5).

    KNOCK ON WOOD . . . Junior Geshla Woodard registered 10 points against Louisiana-Lafayette in just her second start of her three-year career at SIU. Woodard connected on 5-of-7 from the field, pulled down nine rebounds, dished out one assist, and had one block in 31 minutes of action.

    CLOSING IN ON 1,000 . . . After a 23-point performance last week against the Ragin' Cajuns, senior Terica Hathaway now stands just 90 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark in her career. Hathaway shot 8-of-21 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line while grabbing eight rebounds. In addition, she dished out five assists and gathered a career-high five steals.

    OFF TO A FROSH START . . . Freshman forward Angela Tolbert has been a surprise off the bench for the Salukis in the opening two games this season. Last week against Louisiana-Lafayette, Tolbert posted a second best 14 points connecting on 6-of-14 from the field annd 2-of-3 from the free throw line. In two games, Tolbert stands as the team's fifth leading scorer averaging 8.5 points per game and 3.0 rebounds.

    HOW MAY I ASSIST YOU? . . . Despite its inconsistent shooting, Southern Illinois currently ranks third in assists in the Missouri Valley Conference. Averaging 14.50 per game, the Salukis have compiled 29 on the season and stand behind league leader Evansville (18.00) and second place Southwest Missouri (15.67). Along with the team's ranking, Molly McDowell stands tied for first in assists individually with an average of 4.5 per game. McDowell currently shares the top spot with Drake's Kristin Santa.

    DON'T GET SO DEFENSIVE . . . Southern Illinois has made an impact among Valley leaders on the defensive end of the floor this season listing as one of the top-five in three categories. After two games, the Salukis list fourth in field goal percentage defense (.402), second in scoring defense (59.5), and third in steals per game (11.50).

    NO REST FOR THE WICKED . . . After Southern Illinois tangles with Tennessee Tech Wednesday night, the Salukis will head to Dallas, Texas, Fri.-Sat., Dec. 1-2 to compete in the SMU Hoops for Cure Women's Basketball Classic. SIU opens tournament play against SMU Friday at 7 p.m. The Dawgs will then conclude the tourney Saturday against the winner of Boston University and Arkansas Pine Bluff before returning home Sunday.

    INJURY REPORT . . . Sophomore Katie Berwanger, who underwent an MRI, appears to be out for the remainder of the season after testing indicated a tear in both her ACL and MCL. Freshman Jennifer Wegley, who had been suffering frequent headaches, was recently diagnosed with a mild concussion and is projected to be sidelined for one to two weeks. Senior Courtney Smith is also out with a stress fracture and will not return until the conference season.