Saluki women’s basketball programs signs another point guard

By Gus Bode

Saluki women cagers sign another

SIU inks junior college standout Dana Pinkston

The SIU women’s basketball team has taken a step toward improving on its dismal season.


Saluki head coach Lori Opp announced Friday that she had signed Dana Pinkston, a transfer from Southeastern Illinois College, to the Dawgs’ 2002-03 squad.

A native of Junction, Pinkston is a 5-foot-4-inch junior point guard who Opp sees having an immediate impact with the Salukis, who finished 6-21 last season and 2-16 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Dana’s the kind of player that she’s going to be very capable of creating scoring opportunities for everyone else, and then she’s also capable of scoring, Opp said.

Pinkston will battle sophomore-to-be Christine Perry for the starting point guard spot that was vacated by senior Holly Teague. Averaging 19.6 points per game this past season, Pinkston helped her team to a 20-9 record.

Pinkston tallied more than 1,000 points in her two years at SIC and was a two-time all-conference, all-region and all-tournament pick.

[Pinkston] and Chris will battle each other on a daily basis, Opp said, and that’ll be good for both of them to make that position very competitive.

Opp had hoped to sign Pinkston coming out of high school, but opted for Teague after Pinkston decided to attend SIC. Opp kept a close eye on Pinkston and thinks she can help SIU in some of its weaker areas, like shooting and turnovers.


She shoots the ball extremely well from outside, has 3-point range, can also get to the basket and score, Opp said. She has very good court vision and court awareness, does a nice job of handling the ball and passing the ball.

Pinkston is the third signee for SIU this season. In November, the Salukis signed Amy Hayden, a 5-10 guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., and Afton Gill, a 6-foot forward from Carterville. SIU is still looking at several players to fill its two remaining scholarships.

So far I think that we’ve signed some pretty talented young ladies, Opp said, and all three of them are going to come in and challenge the returners that we have right away.

Reporter Todd Merchant can be reached at [email protected]