Salukis hit the road for matchup at Central Arkansas on Monday

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    Dec. 1, 2013

    Southern Illinois (0-5) at Central Arkansas (5-2)
     Date Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
     Time 5:30 p.m. CT
     Location Conway, Ark. - Farris Center (5,500)

    Saluki Sports Network

     Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Central Arkansas
     Live Stats Live Stats
     Social Media @SIU_WBasketball

    By Tyler Wooten

    CONWAY, Ark. --Saluki women's basketball continues its five-game road trip with a stop at the University of Central Arkansas to take on the Sugar Bears on Monday night, with tipoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Farris Center.

    Southern Illinois Salukis
    Head Coach:
    Cindy Stein • First Season • 282-11 overall (17th season) • 0-5 at SIU

    Central Arkansas Sugar Bears
    Head Coach:
    Sandra Rushing • Second Season • 423-271 overall (25th season) • 20-16 at UCA

    Play-By-Play: Bryce Williams (second season)
    Color Commentary: Logan Lee (first season)
    Station: WVZA 105.1 FM (audio also available on Saluki All-Access)

    Southern leads the all-time series against the Sugar Bears with a 2-1 advantage. The two teams first met in 2007 in Carbondale, with the Salukis coming out on top, 88-67. SIU travelled to Conway the following year and escaped with a 69-68 victory on a buzzer-beater jumper by Jasmine Gibson. In both victories, Southern had erased a losing streak of at least four games. SIU and UCA revived the series in Carbondale to open the 2012-13 season, with the Sugar Bears nabbing their first victory over Southern, 59-46.

    SIU is 4-3 all-time against schools from the Southland Conference in addition to its 2-1 record against Central Arkansas. Southern is 1-0 against McNeese State (66-56, Jan. 7, 1983), 1-1 against Stephen F. Austin, and 0-1 versus Louisiana Tech. Two such games against Southland opponents came in the postseason, a 66-53 loss to Louisiana Tech in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1987, and a first-round WNIT win over Stephen F. Austin in 2007 (58-50).

    UCA 59, SIU 46 -- NOV. 13, 2012
    It was the Megan Herbert show last year for the Sugar Bears, as UCA rode her 32 point, 24 rebound performance to a 59-46 victory over SIU in Carbondale. Herbert was 9-of-16 from the field and a tedious 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Neither team was impressive shooting from the field, as SIU's 28.6 percent mark from the field wasn't far behind UCA's clip of 31.4, but the Sugar Bears shot 27 more free throws than SIU. Alexus Patterson led the Salukis with 11 points and six boards.

    AUSTIN PEAY 81, UCA 60
    The Sugar Bears couldn't keep up with a hot Lady Gov offense in an 81-60 loss at APSU on Saturday night. UCA got 16 points from Terai Sadler (6-of-7 shooting), but APSU's Tiasha Gray took control of the game with 28 points on 13-for-20 shooting. Gray was the difference in Southern's matchup versus the Lady Govs on Nov. 12 in Carbondale, when she hit a game-winning jumper with 1.5 seconds left.

    The Salukis played a solid first half against the Thundering Herd, but they weren't able to maintain that momentum into the second half in an 82-59 loss at Marshall on Nov. 27. Southern battled back from an early deficit to claw back within five at the half (40-35), but fatigue and fouls plagued the Salukis. SIU posted its lowest turnover total in nearly four years (nine TO), but was out-rebounded 38-23 -- including a 22-8 Herd advantage in the second half and 13-5 on the offensive end. Dyana Pierre tied a career-high with 18 points, but was held to only five rebounds.

    Sophomore center Dyana Pierre is off to an incredible start for the Salukis. Pierre currently leads Southern in scoring (14.0 PPG), rebounding (9.6 RPG), shooting (59.2 percent) and free throw attempts (27). The Port St. Lucia, Fla., native has posted a double-double in 60 percent of SIU's games thus far, and in the Missouri Valley Conference she currently ranks in the top-ten in blocked shots (first, 2.0 BBG), field goal percentage (second), rebounding (third) and scoring (10th).

    Sophomore Dyana Pierre has been on fire from the field in 2013-14, as she currently sits at second in the conference with a field goal percentage of 59.2. In her last three games, Pierre has shot 17-of-31 (.548) from the field in SIU losses at IPFW, Illinois and Marshall. In five games, Pierre has only shot below 58 percent once. At Marshall, Pierre scored 10 consecutive Saluki points over a five-minute span. So far, Pierre has shot 29-of-49 from the field in her 30.2 minutes per game.

    The Salukis have been impressive in the post thus far in 2013-14, thanks in part to the superb inside play of Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington. In addition to Pierre's accolades, Washington has been making a name for herself in the rebounding game as well. So far, Washington -- who has started all five games at power forward -- is averaging 6.2 points and rebounds per game. Together, Pierre and Washington have helped SIU to a -2.2 rebounding margin -- the fourth-best margin in the MVC.

    On Nov. 18, junior guard Cartaesha Macklin became the 28th player in school history to surpass the 1,000 career point milestone with her 12-point performance at IPFW. Macklin, who currently sits at 1,015 career points, is the current active scoring leader in the MVC and she sits within less than 100 points of cracking the top-20 all-time at SIU. In two seasons at SIU, Macklin has averaged 480.0 points per season. If she were to remain on that pace, Macklin would rank fifth all-time at the end of the 2013-14 season. Thus far, Macklin is averaging 11.0 points and 3.6 assists per game -- the latter of which ranks sixth in the MVC.

    So far in 2013-14, Macklin leads the Salukis with a 17-of-22 (.773) mark from the free throw line -- which included a 10-of11 performance against Austin Peay at home on Nov. 12. In her time at Southern, Macklin has been no stranger to the free throw line. In 66 games at SIU she's made 306 free throws in 417 tries, which both rank third all-time at SIU. Macklin is on pace to become SIU's all-time leader in free throws made this season and be within 30 of the top-mark in free throws attempted at the end of the season.

    Junior Ariel Haynes earned her first start of the season on Wednesday at Marshall, and her time on the court helped Southern stay within striking distance of the Herd in the first half. Haynes scored a season-high eight points and four boards in 31 minutes versus the Herd, but none more important than her consecutive three-pointers that gave SIU its only lead of the game at 6:21 in the first half. Haynes is currently 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

    Walk-on sophomore Hannah Shores has made her presence known in the first five games of the 2013-14 season. Shores, a native of nearby Centralia, Ill., has notched 6.0 points in 21.8 minutes per game in five games played and two starts. Shores earned her first career start at IPFW on Nov. 18, where she played 23 minutes and scored a career-high nine points. She is currently 4-of-10 from beyond the arc -- which is the second best mark from three on the team.

    Turnovers have plagued the Salukis thus far in 2013-14, as they have averaged 17.4 turnovers opposed to the 11.4 they have forced on opponents. It was the difference against APSU, which scored 24 points of SIU turnovers en route to a dramatic 71-69 victory in the final second -- thanks in large part to costly Saluki turnovers down the stretch. It was more of the same against IPFW on Nov. 18, when the Mastodons scored 23 points off Saluki turnovers against 11 points SIU scored off IPFW missteps. However, Southern took a step in the right direction against the Thundering Herd at Marshall on Nov. 27, posting the lowest number of Saluki turnovers (nine) since Feb. 19, 2009 (seven).

    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.