Cindy Stein era to begin with home opener against Wright State on Friday

    Junior Cartaesha Macklin was voted preseason all-conference for 2013-14.

    Junior Cartaesha Macklin was voted preseason all-conference for 2013-14.
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    Nov. 7, 2013

    Wright State (0-0, 0-0 Horizon) vs. Southern Illinois (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
     Date Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
     Time 6:05 p.m. CT
     Location Carbondale, Ill. - SIU Arena (8,339)

    Saluki Sports Network

     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | Wright State Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Gametracker | Valley Scoreboard
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki women's basketball will kick off the Cindy Stein era with their home opener against the Wright State Raiders on Friday, with tipoff scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at the SIU Arena.

    Southern Illinois Salukis (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
    Head Coach:
    Cindy Stein • First Season • 282-206 overall (16 seasons) • 0-0 at SIU (one season)

    Wright State Raiders (0-0, 0-0 Horizon)
    Head Coach: Mike Bradbury • Third Season • 103-88 overall (six seasons) • 53-44 at WSU (three seasons)

    This is the third time the Salukis have squared off against the Raiders since the series began in 2010. Southern is 0-2 versus Wright State, including 0-1 at home. The Raiders came to Carbondale last on Dec. 14, 2010, when they toppled SIU, 75-53. Southern kept the game close in the first half, trailing 34-29 at halftime, but was dominated in the second half -- particularly on the glass. The Raiders out-rebounded SIU 51-32, including 20 offensive boards that led to 16 second-chance points. Southern shot 7-of-20 from 3-point range in the opening half, but poor rebounding and turnover woes did the Salukis in. Senior Sidney Goins is the only returning Saluki to play in that game, in which she was the leading scorer with 16 points, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

    Southern had the Raiders on the ropes late in the game on Dec. 10, 2011, in Dayton, Ohio, before abysmal free-throw shooting allowed WSU to take the lead and hang on for victory, 61-59. It was a tug-of-war all 40 minutes, but a second half free throw percentage of 44.4 sank Southern in the end. SIU had a chance to rectify their poor percentage from the charity stripe, however. With six seconds left, the Saluki called a timeout and drew up a play to get guard Antishia Wright the ball for a game-winning three. Wright got the open look, but couldn't connect. Three current Salukis participated in that game at Wright State two years ago: Jordyn Courier (13 min., five pts.), Cartaesha Macklin (28 min., 11 pts., 7-8 FT) and Alexus Patterson (29 min., 4 pts., 13 rbs.).

    The Raiders squared off against Indiana Wesleyan on Oct. 30 at home, the lone exhibition game for WSU in 2013-14. The Raiders rolled to an easy 81-55 victory over Indiana Wesleyan, the reigning NAIA Division II national champions. The Raiders were led by Horizon League preseason player of the year Kim Demmings, who scored 19 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists. Indiana Wesleyan hung in the game early, but the Raiders pulled ahead with two monster runs of 11-1 and 24-5 at the end of the first half and the opening of the second half, respectively. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the Raiders shooting from the field, but their 26 offensive rebounds (out of 49 total) led to 19 costly second-chance points.

    Southern comes out of the exhibition season at 1-1 after a sloppy 70-55 loss to first-year Division II member Lindenwood on Nov. 2. SIU was able to hold on for a 67-60 victory over Maryville on Oct. 25, but poor shooting, poor shot selection, poor rebounding and turnover woes understandably kept the Salukis out of reach. Cartaesha Macklin (16 pts., four assists) and Dyana Pierre (10 pts., eight rebounds) each scored in double figures, but Southern's bench play was nonexistent, as they were outscored by the Lady Lions 29-10 -- five of those points coming from walk-on Hannah Shores. "There were no bright spots in this game -- we did not play well," first year head coach Cindy Stein said. "A lot of bad habits came out that we thought were not coming around as much."

    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.

    Southern Illinois was voted to finish tenth in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2013-14 in a preseason poll release on Oct. 30 at media day at Loyola University in Chicago. Indiana State was chosen to win the Valley crown with 26 first place votes, followed by Wichita State in second place with 13. Southern was voted to finish eighth in 2012-13, but finished tenth at the end of the season after posting a 5-26 record, which included a 1-17 conference record.

    Junior guard Cartaesha Macklin was voted to the 2013-14 preseason All-MVC team, announced alongside the preseason poll at media day at Loyola University in Chicago. Macklin led the Salukis and was second in the conference in scoring in 2012-13 with 15.0 points per game and became the first Saluki in history to lead the Valley in assist average with 4.2 per game. Macklin also led Southern in minutes played (1,002), steals (42), free throws made (121) and free throws attempted (178). Southern has not had a first-team all-conference honoree since Carlai Moore in 2006-07.

    Through only two seasons, Cartaesha Macklin has already cemented herself in the Saluki women's basketball record books. Macklin currently ranks third all-time in free throws made (289) and fifth all-time in free throws attempted (395), as well as numerous single-game and single-season lists. In 2012-13, Macklin finished with with 465 points, which made her the first Saluki since Carlai Moore to post consecutive seasons of at least 400 points. She currently has 960 career points, which is just shy of cracking the top-20 all-time at SIU.

    In addition to Macklin, Southern returns its leading rebounder (277) and blocker (36) in Dyana Pierre and leading three-point shooter (.371) in Jordyn Courier. Southern also returns five players who started five or more games, including four of whom started 20 or more.

    Dyana Pierre moved onto the SIU single-season during her freshman season in 2012-13 with 36 total blocks, the fourth-best total in school history. Pierre blocked a career-best five shots Nov. 17, 2012, against Loyola, making her only the second SIU player in the last 12 years (CiCi Shannon) to block five shots in a game. That total is tied for the eighth-highest single-game total in SIU history.

    The flagship station for Saluki women's basketball is WVZA 105.1 FM, although 11 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.