Corrigan makes most of opportunity

Corrigan makes most of opportunity

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

When a team returns all its starters from the previous season, it figures to be a long season for bench players. But, opportunity arises when a starter is injured. 

Junior guard/forward Carlie Corrigan has taken advantage of the absence of senior forward Azia Washington, who is recovering from knee surgery, and become a weapon for the SIU women’s basketball team.

Corrigan found herself in the starting lineup three times in her first two seasons at SIU. She started Saturday for the third time in the Salukis’ first nine games this season.

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Her minutes per game has increased from 9.1 her first two years to 20.3 so far this season. Before the 2015-16 season, she played 20 or more minutes in four of her 55 career games. She’s played at least 20 minutes in six of nine games this season.

Corrigan averages 6.3 points per game this year, which is triple her career average for her first two seasons.

She attributed her improvements to her offseason workout regimen.

“I ran a lot in the offseason trying to build up endurance,” Corrigan said. “I also incorporated shooting a lot more after running to do everything game-like, not just in the gym shooting around.”

Corrigan has been almost equally effective off the bench and as a starter. She averages 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per start, and 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds off the bench.

She is averaging a career-high 0.311 points per minute played. Last year she averaged 0.297 points per minute, and .203 as a freshman.

Corrigan averages 0.153 rebounds per minute this season. She averaged 0.121 and 0.127 the last two years, respectively.

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Junior forward Kim Nebo notices Corrigan’s improvements.

“I would definitely say [Corrigan] is the most [improved],” she said. “She came out with a different attitude. She has a killer instinct, and she’s just playing hard every single time.”

From time to time, the 5-foot, 9-inch Corrigan finds herself in the post defending a player with an advantage of five or six inches on her. Coach Cindy Stein said this is not by design.

“That will happen occasionally,” she said. “I think she does a good job of moving her feet and getting around. She can play several positions.” 

Corrigan said she doesn’t notice her adversaries’ sizes.

“If you’re in good position, you can basically guard anybody,” she said. “So I don’t think about the height advantage they might have over me.”

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3307

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