Salukis look for second straight home win against Chicago State on Friday

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    SIU head coach Cindy Stein
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    Dec. 19, 2013

    Southern Illinois (2-6) vs. Chicago State (1-8)
     Date Friday, Dec. 20, 2013
     Time 6:05 p.m. CT
     Location Carbondale, Ill. - SIU Arena (8,339)
     Video Saluki All-Access

    Saluki Sports Network

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

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki women's basketball will look for its second straight victory against Chicago State at the SIU Arena on Friday night, with tipoff scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at the SIU Arena.

    Southern Illinois Salukis (2-6)
Head Coach:
    Cindy Stein • First Season • 284-212 overall (17th season) • 2-6 at SIU

    Chicago State Cougars (1-8)
Head Coach: 
    Angela Jackson • 11th Season • 127-204 overall (12th season) • 121-184 at CSU

    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 versus the Cougars 5-1, dating back to the first matchup in 1976. SIU is a perfect 3-0 against Chicago State in Carbondale, 1-1 in Chicago, and 1-0 in neutral site games. The Cougars' lone win over SIU came Dec. 14, 2008, when CSU outlasted Southern in overtime, 71-68, in Chicago. The series began in 1976 with a regular season matchup in Carbondale on Feb. 21, 1976 (W, 79-50), and a postseason duel at the IAIAW State Tournament on Mar. 4, where Southern won 80-39 in Macomb, Ill.

    SIU is 6-1 all-time against schools from the Western Athletic Conference. The Salukis are a combined 5-0 against San Diego State (3-0), Hawaii (1-0), New Mexico (1-0) and San Jose State (1-0), with SIU's only loss coming against Southern Methodist on Dec. 1, 2000, when the Mustangs topped SIU, 86-80, at the SMU Hoops for Cure Classic in Dallas. This will be the first time Southern will face Chicago State as a member of the WAC -- which CSU joined in 2013.

    SIU 69, CSU 66 -- DEC. 29, 2012
    The Salukis had to hold off a late charge by Chicago State to secure a 69-66 victory over the Cougars on Dec. 29, 2012, in Chicago. Southern built up to a 19-point advantage with 10 minutes to play, but the Cougars came charging back by taking advantage of Saluki miscues and putting Southern on the foul line -- where it went 12-24 in the second half. CSU cut the lead to 68-66 with four seconds remaining when it fouled Cartaesha Macklin for two shots. Macklin kept it a ball game by only sinking one free throw, but it proved to be enough. Macklin had a double-double with 19 points and a career-high 10 assists, as did Azia Washington with career-high totals of 17 points and 17 rebounds.

    The Cougars had three players in double figures -- which included a double-double from Chanel Wilson-Stewart (14 points, 11 rebounds) and 21 points from Paris Williams -- but they couldn't keep up with a hot-shooting Detroit team that sank 11-of-28 from beyond the arc in an 86-64 loss at the Toledo Invite. The Titans opened the game on a 10-0 run and, despite CSU making a few small runs of their own, were able to keep the Cougars at bay by at least nine points the rest of the way. Detroit had three scorers over 20 points that combined to shoot 11-of-27 from three, and the Titans outrebounded the Cougars 43-32.

    Southern rode its best shooting performance and its best overall team performance of the season to a 66-60 victory over Eastern Illinois on Dec. 16 at the SIU Arena. The Salukis shot 47.1 percent from the field, which included its best mark from beyond the arc this season of 33.3 percent (7-of-21). Dyana Pierre was a star for SIU on Monday with her 20 point, 10 rebound performance -- her 13th career double-double and her fourth this season in eight games. However, SIU had three other scorers in double figures -- Sidney Goins (12 points, 4-of-12 3FG), Ariel Haynes (12 points, 5-of-10 FG) and Azia Washington (11 points, 5-of-10 FG) -- to ease the load off Pierre. Scoring was only part of the story Monday night, however. SIU's work on the offensive glass in the second half and its defensive stymying of EIU's Sabina Oroszova sealed victory for SIU.

    After a 1-4 road swing throughout November and the early part of December, the Salukis returned home in high fashion with a 66-60 victory over an offensively potent Eastern Illinois squad. Southern was impressive in every facet of the victory, head coach Cindy Stein's first at the SIU Arena. The Salukis posted their best totals of the season in shooting percentage (.471), three-point percentage (.333) and three-point field goals (seven) -- all while holding EIU leading scorer Sabina Oroszova seven points under her season average. In all three of SIU's home games, the Salukis are shooting 40 percent or better from the field -- as opposed to only two of SIU's five road games where they've broken the 40-percent plane. Southern's scoring margin at home against its mark on the road is just as stark. At home, SIU is at +0.3, but on the road the Salukis are -19.0.

    Sophomore Dyana Pierre has been consistently remarkable for SIU all season, but her performance Monday night in SIU's victory over Eastern Illinois was her most impressive thus far. Pierre recorded her 13th career double-double and her fourth this season in eight games with a 20 point, 10 rebound performance. The 20-point plateau is a career-high for Pierre, who also recorded two blocks to put her at 51 in her two year career -- three shy of cracking the top-ten all-time at SIU. Pierre currently leads the conference in blocked shots (1.9 per game) and ranks second in both rebounding (9.4) and field goal percentage (.524).

    While Pierre's effort put SIU over the top, the consistent production from the rest of Southern's roster was the true key to victory over EIU. Four players scored in double figures for only the second time this season and only the eighth time in the last two seasons. Sidney Goins (12 points, 4-of-12 3FG), Ariel Haynes (12 points, 5-of-10 FG) and Azia Washington (11 points, 5-of-10 FG) each contributed to the winning effort. Goins especially got the Salukis off to a hot start with two consecutive three-pointers to open the game. Walk-on sophomore Hannah Shores did her part as well as SIU's starting point guard, dishing out a career-high seven assists and sinking six of her eight free throw attempts -- all while not attempting a field goal. Before her turn as SIU's starting point guard Monday night, Shores had attempted 5.7 field goals per game.

    Southern's inside sophomore duo of forward Azia Washington and center Dyana Pierre have been dominant in the post for the Salukis this season. Pierre, SIU's leading scorer at 13.5 points per game, currently leads the MVC in blocks (1.9 per game) and ranks second in rebounding (9.4) and fourth in field goal percentage (.524). Washington, who has scored in double-digits each of her last three games, ranks eighth in field goal percentage (.468) and ninth in rebounding (6.6). In her last five games, Washington has shot 50.0 percent or better, and is 23-of-41 (.561) from the field.

    Sophomore center Dyana Pierre is already within striking distance of the top-ten all-time at SIU in career blocks. After posting the fourth-most blocks in a single-season in school history in 2012-13 (36), Pierre stands within five blocks of the top-ten with 51 career blocks. Pierre currently has 15 in 2013-14 and averages 1.9 per game, right now the most in the MVC. At this pace, Pierre will record the third-most blocks in a single-season for SIU in 2013-14 and climb up to second all-time in career blocks.

    Southern, which came off of consecutive games of giving up more than 75 points, allowed only 37 points in a victory over the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears on Dec. 2. UCA, which was averaging 67.0 points per game entering the contest, shot 25.9 percent from the field and their best player -- Courtney Deuver (13.1 PPG) -- was held to three points, thanks in large part to the superb defense of Dyana Pierre (11 rebounds, six points, three blocks, three steals). The 18 points UCA scored in the second half are the fewest allowed by the Salukis since Jan. 29, 2011, when Southern allowed only 14 to Indiana State in the first half, and 37 points are the fewest given up by SIU in a single game since Dec. 10, 1988 when the Salukis held Central Michigan to 32.

    The Salukis also showed their defensive prowess on Dec. 16 versus Eastern Illinois when it shut down EIU's leading scorer Sabina Oroszova. Entering the game, Oroszova averaged 18.3 points per game, but the Salukis were able to hold her to 11 points -- which included starting the game 1-of-8 from the field and four points in the first half.

    Walk-on sophomore Hannah Shores has made her presence known. Shores, a native of nearby Centralia, Ill., has scored 5.4 points and 2.4 assists in 24.5 minutes per game in eight games played and three starts. Shores earned her first career start at IPFW on Nov. 18, where she played 23 minutes and scored a career-high nine points. On Dec. 16 versus Eastern Illinois, Shores got her first start at point guard where she was efficient at running Coach Stein's offense. Shores played a career-high 34 minutes, in which she dished out a career-high seven assists and scored six points all on free throws. Of Southern's 51 attempts from the field, Shores did not take a single shot. Entering the game, Shores was attempting 5.7 shots per game.