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    Dec. 31, 2005

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    By Jeff Honza

    Date: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2006
    Tip Off: 1 p.m., CST
    Site: Hulman Center (Terre Haute, Ind.)
    The Series: SIU leads, 37-26
    Head Coaches: SIU: Dana Eikenberg (8-29/2nd Year)
    INS: Jim Wiedie (90-62/6th Year)
    Rankings: Neither team is ranked
    Radio Broadcast: WCIL 1020 AM
    Audio Webcast: www.siusalukis.com

    Let's Go For Two
    SIU looks to start MVC play at 2-0 for the first time since 1993-94. That year, the Salukis won four-straight en route to six victories in their first seven league games.

    Huge Win
    The Dawgs won their first Valley opener since 1999-00 with a dismantling 87-65 victory at Illinois State Friday. SIU moved to 13-10 all-time in league openers.

    Series History
    SIU leads its all-time series against Indiana State by a count of 37-26. The series began in 1969, where the Salukis downed the Sycamores 53-24. However, since 2000, INS has won 11-straight against the Dawgs.

    Sycamore Ties
    Dana Eikenberg became familiar with the MVC throughout the early stages of her coaching career. From 1995-97, she was an assistant coach at Indiana State, where she coached the perimeter players and™™ recruited the 1997 MVC Newcomer-of-the-Year (Amy Amstutz).

    Tough Place to Play
    SIU has dropped five in a row at the Hulman Center, the home of the Sycamores. The last time the Salukis beat INS in Terre Haute was on Dec. 29, 1999 (64-62). The Sycamores have defeated the Dawgs by 33 or more points at the Hulman Center in two of the last three years.

    The Last Time . . .
    SIU swept a Valley road trip was ironically against Illinois State and Indiana State. In 1997-98, the Salukis beat the Sycamores, 68-49, on Jan. 29 and the Redbirds, 57-54, on Jan. 31.

    That Girl Can Play
    Junior Carlai Moore, the Valley's third-leading scorer, upped her average to 18.9 ppg when she poured in a league and career-high 31 points at Illinois State Friday. A native of Kansas City, Kan., Moore shot 11-of-15 from the field and 9-of-9 at the free throw line. She also pulled down eight rebounds, dished out two assists and had a pair of steals in 36 minutes. Moore has led the Salukis in scoring the last four games, where she is averaging a red-hot 24.3 ppg.

    Moore Damage
    With her impressive 31-point effort Friday, Carlai Moore became the first Saluki to score over 30 points in a game in two years. The last time a SIU player scored over 30 points was when Danette Jones had 33 against Bradley on Jan. 31, 2004. Before that, the most recent 30+ point effort was a 35-point showing by Molly McDowell against Evansville on Jan. 11, 2003.

    Can You Break a Twenty?
    Carlai Moore has also scored over 20 points on four occasions, in addition to her career-high 31-point display Friday. Her four 20-plus performances are the most of any Saluki this season.

    Sweere Roars Back
    After being held scoreless in her previous outing against Saint Louis on Dec. 22, sophomore Jayme Sweere matched a career-high 28 points against Illinois State Friday. Sweere, who hails from Springfield, Mo., erupted for 18 first half points. She finished with 10-of-20 field goals, an uncharacteristic 3-of-4 three-pointers, 5-of-6 free throws, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in 34 minutes. Sweere has scored 20 or more points three times this season.

    Gibson Debuts in Starting Five
    Freshman Jasmine Gibson made her first career start, as the Salukis changed up their starting five for the third time this season. Gibson, who averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench prior to her first start, scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds against the Redbirds Friday. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Gibson has pitched in double figures in four games this year, including a career-high 16 against Saint Louis on Dec. 22.

    What About Freeman?
    Sophomore Katy Freeman joined Carlai Moore and Jayme Sweere with double figures in the scoring column against Illinois State Friday. The Duluth Minn., native shot 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line, while pulling down eight rebounds, dishing out two assists and posting two steals. She also had 10 second half points, as her 14 tied a career-high.

    Back in the Groove
    SIU has had at least three of its starters pitch in double figures in eight of 10 games this season. Prior to Friday, however, only one Saluki starter scored double figures in SIU's 63-61 loss to Saint Louis on Dec. 22.

    Halve it Your Way
    SIU has trailed its opponent at halftime in four of its last six games, and is 1-3 in those matchups. The only win during that span came against South Dakota State on Dec. 10. SIU fell behind, 36-31, in the first half, before outscoring the Jackrabbits, 44-23, in the second en route to a 75-59 win.

    Board Certified
    SIU is 4-1 when outrebounding its opponents this season. Most recently, the Dawgs posted a season-best 41-29 advantage against Illinois State. On the year, SIU is winning the battle over its opponents on the boards, 353 (35.3 avg.) to 345 (34.5 avg.).

    About the Sycamores
    Preseason Pick: For the first time in league history, Indiana State was tabbed the No. 1 team in the MVC Preseason Poll. The Sycamores accrued 393 points in the poll and 34 of 40 first-place votes. Scouting Report: INS looks for its first 2-0 MVC start since the 2003-04 season when it hosts SIU Sunday. The Sycamores, who have won seven-straight games, are 9-2 overall. INS is loaded with all five of its starters back from a year ago, and four are averaging double-digits this season. Melanie Boeglin, who tops the Trees with 17.1 points per game, recently recorded six steals against Evansville to become the league's all-time career leader in that category with 373 takeaways. Kristen Weddle (12.6 ppg), Stephanie Lisch (11.0 ppg) and Lisa Verhoff (10.5 ppg) round out the potent scoring attack. INS currently tops the league in scoring offense (80.6 ppg), scoring margin (+12.1) and field goal percentage (.459). The Sycamores have also won two-straight home MVC openers. Last Time Out: Melanie Boeglin had six takeways en route to becoming the Valley's all-time career leader with 373 steals in Indiana State's 79-69 win at Evansville Friday.