Salukis host Central Methodist Friday in exhibition play

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    Nov. 1, 2012

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team hosts Central Methodist Friday for its first of two exhibition games.

    Date: Friday, Nov. 2
    Time: 7:05 p.m. CST
    Location: Carbondale, Ill.
    Site: SIU Arena (8,339)

    Radio: None
    Saluki All Access
    Play-by-play by Bryce Williams
    Color commentary by Johnny Sole

    SIU Women's Basketball Twitter

    Game Notes

    Southern Illinois Salukis (*8-22, 4-14 MVC)
    Head Coach:
    Missy Tiber, Third Year (182-143 overall, 15-73 at SIU)
    Central Methodist Eagles (*17-13, 13-5 Heart of America Athletic Conference)
    Head Coach:
    James Arnold, 2nd Year (17-13 overall and at CMU)
    *2011-12 Records

    The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team is in its 53rd year of existence. Head Coach Missy Tiber has posted a 15-74 record through three seasons at SIU and holds a 182-144 (.558) career record in her 11 seasons as a head coach. The Salukis finished the 2011-12 season with a 8-22 record and a 4-14 mark in MVC play. Southern returns six letterwinners and four starters from last season and welcomes five newcomers.

    SIU women’s basketball hosts NAIA member Central Methodist for its first of two exhibitions for the 2012-13 preseason. CMU is a liberal arts college based in Fayette, Mo., with an enrollment of 1,150. The Eagles return three starters from a team that went 17-13 last year in the team’s first season under head coach James Arnold. Arnold was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year last year after helping CMU to a 12-win turnaround from the previous season. The Eagles were picked to finish fourth in the HAAC this season. CMU’s top returning scorers are Towanda Sutton (9.4 ppg), Raylyn Nuss (8.9 ppg) Nakia Robinson (8.4 ppg) and Sammie Gathercole (8.4 ppg). Sutton was the team’s top rebounder last season at 5.9 per game.

    Southern was picked to finish a spot ahead of its 2011-12 finish with a No. 8 ranking in the Missouri Valley Conference’s annual preseason poll. The Salukis garnered 123 points in the annual vote of league coaches, media and sports information directors. Defending MVC Tournament champion Creighton was selected as the preseason Valley favorite led by preseason MVC Player of the Year Carli Tritz.

    Southern returns one of the top returning players in the MVC in sophomore Cartaesha Macklin. The Mayo, Fla., native is the top returning scorer in the Valley after averaging 16.5 points per game during her freshman campaign. Her 495 points set a new SIU freshman scoring record and ranks sixth in school history among all players for a single season. Macklin also ranked fifth in the MVC last season with an average of 3.6 assists per game and was the top rebounding guard with an average of 5.9 boards per game. Her efforts earned her Honorable Mention All-MVC and MVC All-Freshman Team honors as well as the title of MVC Freshman of the Year.

    About a third of Macklin’s scoring production last season came from the free throw line. Macklin broke the SIU single season record for free throws made with 168, and did so with a team-best free throw percentage of 77.4. Her 217 free throw attempts last season is also a school record.

    Southern will field one of the youngest teams in the conference again in 2012-13 with no seniors and only two upper classmen in juniors Jordyn Courier and Sidney Goins. Luckily, SIU’s six returning players have plenty of experience. Returning starters Cartaesha Macklin, Alexus Patterson and Ariel Haynes each started 20-plus games as freshmen last season while Mercedes Griffin played in 21 games with 13 starts and Courier played in 29 games with nine starts a year ago. Goins missed significant action last season with a broken hand, but played in 28 games with 15 starts as a freshman.

    With four post players on the 2012-13 roster, the Salukis will have their best post depth of coach Missy Tiber’s four years at the helm. Southern is led inside by sophomore Alexus Patterson, who was named to the MVC All-Freshman team last season after averaging 6.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Redshirt freshmen Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington and freshman Jameeka Bouie give Tiber plenty of options inside.

    Though Southern has its top scorer back from last season in Cartaesha Macklin, the Salukis lost half their scoring from last year’s squad. SIU averaged 62.9 points per game last season and the returning contingent accounted for just 31.0 points of that average.

    Southern welcomes three true freshman to the team for 2012-13 in Jameeka Bouie, Linzi Moore and Rishonda Napier and two redshirt freshmen in Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington. Also new to the team this season are first-year assistant coach Brandon Rohr and graduate assistant Paige Mesalam.

    SIU has players from seven states, spanning from the west coast to the east coast. Starting in the west, SIU has players from California (Rishonda Napier), Missouri (Azia Washington), Wisconsin (Jameeka Bouie and Jordyn Courier), Illinois (Mercedes Griffin and Ariel Haynes), Tennessee (Sidney Goins and Alexus Patterson), Indiana (Linzi Moore) and Florida (Cartaesha Macklin and Dyana Pierre).

    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.