Dawgs vs. Cougars: rivalry at its best

By Gus Bode

Bragging rights are on the line as SIU welcomes its sister school Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for a rival matchup.

The Salukis (2-3) will contend against the Cougars (3-2) Saturday with tipoff set for 2:05 p.m. at the SIU Arena. This will be the first time the dogs and cats meet on the court. SIU Carbondale enters the contest with an ended winning streak after falling to Northern Illinois 53-50 Tuesday in DeKalb.

Junior guard Teri Oliver said the team has to learn how to play an entire 40 minutes to outlast and succeed against its opponents, which it didn’t do against NIU.

Advertisement

The Saluki women’s basketball team runs sprints Thursday during morning practice at the SIU Arena. After a three-point loss to Northern Illinois University Tuesday, the team is preparing to face SIU Edwardsville Saturday at the SIU Arena. The Cougars are 3-2, while the Salukis stand at 2-3. Pat Sutphin | Daily Egyptian

“If we would have played the whole game like the last three minutes and 50 seconds, then it wouldn’t have been a contest,” Oliver said.

She said she’s more concerned with her teammates and their abilities to lace up and compete hard in every game.

“We have to be ready to play and do what we’re suppose to do,” Oliver said. “Whether it’s rebounding, screening, defending or scoring… we need a full team effort.”

Oliver leads the Salukis in scoring with an average of 19.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game; freshman guard Cartaesha Macklin is the team’s second leading scorer ,averaging 12.8 ppg and 5.6 rpg. The Salukis are 1-1 at home this season with their win against Chicago State and a loss to Loyola.

With the Salukis averaging 18.4 turnovers per game, sophomore center Cici Shannon, who averages 5.8 rpg and leads the team in most blocked shots, said rebounding is something the team needs to perfect.

“The problem we had last game was rebounding,” Shannon said. “So these next few practices, we’re focusing on doing so on both ends of the court.”

Advertisement

Head coach Missy Tiber said rebounding has already had a direct effect on the team’s record this season.

“How we are even in the game at the end and up one (point) with under a minute to play is completely amazing when we get out-rebounded by 15,” Tiber said.

Oliver said the team looks to succeed not only through its offense but also by playing tough on the defensive ends of the court.

Meanwhile, SIU Edwardsville is one of three teams in the Ohio Valley Conference with a winning record, according to its athletic website.  Senior guard Melia Duncan leads the Cougars with 7.8 ppg, along with 2.6 rpg and 3.2 assists per game.

The SIU Carbondale players said they plan to give all they can, not only for the betterment of their record, but to also uphold Saluki spirit.

“Our goal hasn’t changed,” Oliver said. “We will still do what we have to do offensively and defensively to be a successful team.”

 

Advertisement