Salukis host Missouri-St. Louis Tuesday in final exhibition

    Freshman Rishonda Napier had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds Friday against Central Methodist.

    Freshman Rishonda Napier had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds Friday against Central Methodist.
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    Nov. 5, 2012

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois women’s basketball team hosts Missouri-St. Louis Tuesday for its final exhibition tuneup of the 2012-13 preseason.

    Date: Tuesday, Nov. 6
    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

    Game Tracker

    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)
    Missouri-St. Louis Tritons (*10-17, 5-13 Great Lakes Valley Conference)
    Head Coach:
    Katie Vaughn, First Year (29-52 overall, 0-0 at UMSL)
    *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 NCAA Division II member Missouri-St. Louis for its final exhibition tuneup of the 2012-13 preseason. The Tritons finished 2011-12 season with a 10-17 record and finished sixth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division with a 5-13 league mark. UMSL returns seven players from last year’s squad, including senior forward Devonna Smith, who averaged 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season and was named to the GLVC All-Defensive Team. The Tritons are in their first year under head coach Katie Vaughn.

    A strong second half helped push Southern to a convincing 82-57 win over Central Methodist Friday in the team’s first exhibition game of the season. A pair of freshmen highlighted five Salukis scoring in double figures as point guard Rishonda Napier had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and forward/center Azia Washington posted 17 points and 14 rebounds. Also for SIU, Alexus Patterson scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds while Cartaesha Macklin added 11 points and Sidney Goins chipped in 10 points.

    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.