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Cougars Pound Oakland City

Aamir McCleary
February 24, 2009

          EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball broke the school record for three-pointers Tuesday in a 118-75 rout over Oakland City.
          The Cougars improved to 10-17 for the season behind a blistering offensive showing from Aamir McCleary. The junior point guard scored a game-high 26 points, connected on 10 of 13 shots from the field and hit a team-best six three-pointers.
          "He has really improved since the beginning of the year," said SIUE Coach Lennox Forrester of McCleary's three-point prowess.
          McCleary also added eight assists, four steals and did not commit a turnover.
          "That's what you need from your point guard," added Forrester.
          The Cougars shot an impressive 66.2 percent from the field despite what was a slow start. SIUE was down 22-13 but then outscored the Mighty Oaks 40-12 over the final 11:10 of the first half. The Cougars used a swarming defense that managed 20 points off turnovers in the first half.
          "I thought we came out dead defensively. We did get going towards the end of the first half," said Forrester.
          SIUE was anything but sluggish from beyond the three-point line. SIUE hit 16 of 30 three-pointers. After McCleary's six, the Cougars picked up three three-pointers from John Edmison, two from Mark Yelovich and one each from Barry Wellington, Brandon Dunson, Dane Church, Aaron Garriott and Stephen Jones.
          The second half was as strong for the Cougars as the first half ended. SIUE hit 25 of 32 from the field (78.1 percent) in the second half. The Cougar bench also finished with its best night of the season, scoring 46 points.
          Edmison, one of three starters scoring in double figures, pumped in 19 for the Cougars on 8-of-10 shooting. Dunson scored a career-high 15 and shot 7 of 11 from the field. Mark Yelovich hit his season average with 14 points. Aaron Garriott added 11.
          Oakland City, now 11-14, picked up a good night from Brandon Hopf, who scored 24 points. Nathan Schumacher grabbed a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
          Sunday is SIUE's home finale when it plays host to North Dakota. Game time is 3 p.m. at the Vadalabene Center.
                    -siue cougars-
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