Salukis host Central Arkansas Tuesday to open season

    Freshman Azia Washington averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds pser game in SIU's two exhibitions.

    Freshman Azia Washington averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds pser game in SIU's two exhibitions.
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    Nov. 12, 2012

    By Bill Ford
    SIUSalukis.com

    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois women's basketball team hosts Central Arkansas Tuesday night to open the 2012-13 regular season.

    GAME INFORMATION
    Date: Tuesday, Nov. 13
    Time: 7:05 p.m. CST
    Location: Carbondale, Ill.
    Site: SIU Arena (8,339)

    Radio: WVZA 105.1 FM
    Play-by-play by Bryce Williams
    Color commentary by Johnny Sole

    Saluki All Access (live audio and video)

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    TEAM FACTS
    Southern Illinois Salukis (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
    Head Coach:
    Missy Tiber, Third Year (182-144 overall, 15-74 at SIU)
    Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (1-0, 0-0 Southland)
    Head Coach:
    Sandra Rushing, First Year (404-255 overall, 1-0 at UCA)

    SIU VS. CENTRAL ARKANSAS
    SIU holds a 2-0 series lead all-time against UCA, having last faced the Sugar Bears during the 2008-09 season. UCA returns three starters from a team that went 24-7 last season, won the Southland Conference and made an appearance in the WNIT. The Bears opened the season Friday with an 83-46 win over NAIA member Oklahoma Wesleyan. UCA is led by senior forward Megan Herbert, who averaged 17.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game last season, earning her second consecutive Southland Player of the Year Award. The Bears' other returning starters are senior guard Micah Rice (8.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and senior forward Desiree' Rogers (6.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg).

    SALUKIS IN SEASON OPENERS
    The Southern Illinois women's basketball team is 21-30 all-time in season openers, having dropped the last three season openers. The Salukis are 6-10 when opening the season at home since the 1974-75 season.

    SALUKIS IN HOME OPENERS
    SIU is 19-19 in home openers since the 1974-75 season. The Salukis have dropped their last three home openers.

    SALUKIS HANDLE EXHIBITION FOES
    Southern had a solid preseason with convincing wins over two exhibition opponents. The Salukis defeated Central Methodist 82-57 November 2 before dispatching Missouri-St. Louis 72-48 November 6. Freshman forward Azia Washington averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds in the two exhibitions while freshman guard Rishonda Napier averaged 14 points and 7.5 assists. Sophomores Cartaesha Macklin (13.5 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Alexus Patterson (11.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) also had solid showings in the exhibitions.

    SALUKIS PICKED 8TH IN MVC PRESEASON POLL
    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.

    DAWG BITES
    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.

    MACKLIN'S BACK
    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.

    MACKLIN AT THE STRIPE
    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.

    SI-YOUTH
    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.

    DEPTH IN THE FRONT COURT
    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.

    REPLACING PRODUCTION
    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.

    SALUKIS WELCOME FRESH FACES
    Southern welcomes three true freshmen 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.

    ROSTER RUNS FROM COAST TO COAST
    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).


     

     

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