Salukis face tough tests on the court

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By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

SIU women’s basketball will face University of Illinois and Morehead State University this week. 

The team plays Illinois (5-1) on Tuesday in Champaign and Morehead State (4-5) on Saturday at SIU Arena.

Illinois has three players averaging double-digit scoring per game and are led by sophomore center Chatrice White, who averages 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.

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White may cause a match up problem for SIU if senior center Dyana Pierre gets in foul trouble early. 

U of I freshman guard Cierra Rice averages 13.8 points and senior guard Kyley Simmons, who was a member of the 2012 Big 12 All-Freshman Team at Mizzou, averages 13.3 points a game. Simmons is also third in the Big Ten shooting .459 from behind the three-point line. Rice is fifth in the Big Ten with a .587 field goal percentage.

SIU is outscoring opponents 67.9 to 67.7 this season while Illinois is outscoring opponents 76.8 points to 57.7.

Morehead State, despite a losing record, will still be a formidable opponent that could be problematic for SIU.

The Eagles ranks first in the Ohio Valley Conference with 85.7 points per game. But, they also rank last in the conference for giving up points with 83.9 per game.

MSU has six players averaging double-digit points, led by junior center Shay Steele with 15.1.

Both SIU and Morehead State rank first in their conferences in offensive rebounds, but the Eagles rank last allowing 47.3 rebounds a game.

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The Salukis need better rebounding and for sophomore forward/guard Kylie Giebelhausen to be more consistent.

Morehead State ranks first in the OVC for offensive rebounds with 18.7 per game and consistently rank second with a .385 offensive rebound percentage.

SIU ranks first in the MVC with 15.6 offensive rebounds and seventh in the league with a defensive rebound percentage of .640.

Giebelhausen is shooting 27.9 percent from the three-point line this season and has shot less than 40 percent in three games. She is averaging 9.7 points per game and scored a season-high 16 points against Tennessee State on Nov. 21.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3304

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