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PREVIEW: SIUE Returns Home For South Dakota

Jan. 7, 2011

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

SIUE (4-13) vs.
South Dakota (8-8)
Sat., Jan. 8, 2011, 7 p.m.
Vadalabene Center

Live Audio
Live Stats

Series Record: USD leads 4-1
Last Meeting: L 91-69 2/5/10 at USD
First Meeting: W 73-68 2/7/09 at SIUE
Record at SIUE: 1-1
Record at USD: 0-2
Neutral: 0-1
Largest SIUE win: 73-68 2/7/09 at SIUE
Largest USD win: 116-74 3/8/09 (at Grand Forks, ND)
Current Streak: Lost 4

South Dakota is a member of the Great West Conference but will become full members of the Summit League in time for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Coyotes are led by junior transfer Charlie Westbrook, who averages 15.3 points a game. Freshman Trevor Gruis leads the Coyotes with 6.6 rebounds a game.

The Cougars are 2-7 against the Great West Conference under Head Coach Lennox Forrester, having played only South Dakota and North Dakota. The league, which began play as a football-only league in 2004, added basketball for the 2008-09 season. The Cougars are 3-9 all-time against current conference members.

Tonight's game is the first home contest for SIUE since a 77-76 overtime win versus Kennesaw State Dec. 11. The Cougars played six games away from home in that time, going 2-4 in those games.

The Cougars won the Upper Division Championship at the IBN Las Vegas Classic after finishing with a pair of wins at the Orleans Arena. SIUE defeated Longwood and The Citadel en route to the title.

After not playing an overtime game since 2008, the Cougars have played overtime twice in their last three home games. SIUE prevailed in double overtime over Kennesaw State Sat. Dec.11 after falling at home to Middle Tennessee a week earlier on Dec. 4.

SIUE has registered a season-low 46 points in each of its last two games. The Cougars have scored 65 points or less in all 13 losses this season.

Junior point guard Corey Wickware continues to lead the team in scoring with an average of 11.5 points a game. The transfer from Wabash Community College scored a career-high 25 points in the Cougars' loss at Illinois State. He scored 23 in the Cougars' win over Longwood in Las Vegas. Wickware has scored in double figures in 12 games this year. He has led the team in scoring a team-best five times.

Wickware was named to the IBN Las Vegas Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 18 points over the two games.

Nikola Bundalo posted his third double-double of the year (and fifth of his career) against The Citadel in Vegas when he scored 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Nov. 20 against MacMurray, he recorded 25 points and 13 rebounds. Both are career highs. He is second on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg) and leads in rebounding (6.2 rpg).

The senior center has enjoyed a fine career in a Cougar uniform. He is now 28th on the career scoring list with 770 points. His career field goal percentage of .600 is sixth best. He has 93 blocked shots in his career, ranking fourth.

Senior Cody Rincker was named the Independent (no conference affiliation) Sixth Man of the Week by after averaging 10 points over two games in Las Vegas. He scored 12 points in SIUE's win over Longwood. He was 4 of 5 from three-point range. He added eight points against The Citadel, including a key three-pointer with less than a minute to play. Rincker is shooting 45 percent (17-37) from beyond the arc this year.

Freshman forward Michael Messer has had a successful start to his college career. He has made 12 starts this season. Messer poured in a career-high 24 points in the win over Kennesaw State. He is now fourth in scoring (8.4 ppg) and second in rebounding (3.7 rpg) among regulars. He is second on the team with a .500 field goal percentage (51-102).

Messer is the only player to have scored at least a field goal in every game this season.

Kevin Stineman dished out five assists in each of the games in Vegas. He also scored a career high 14 points vs. Longwood. Stineman leads the team with 46 assists, an average of 2.7 a game.

Junior Cornelius Chatt is now third on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg). He scored a career-high 22 points at Tennessee Tech. Chatt has scored in double figures seven times this year. Chatt leads the team in field goal attempts (158).

Nine different players have led the team in scoring this season. Wickware has led the team five times. Bundalo has led the team four times. Eight different players have led the team in rebounding. Bundalo has led the team 10 times. Messer and Abel Tillman have each led the team in rebounding twice this year.

Six different players have at least four three-pointers this year. Wickware leads the team with 33 followed by Chatt's 20. Wickware also has attempted the most three-pointers (93).

Head Coach Lennox Forrester has announced that junior forward Mark Yelovich, the team's leading scorer each of the past two years, will miss the remainder of the season after a foot injury suffered in the opener against IPFW.

Forrester announced Charles Joy has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for SIUE beginning with the 2011-2012 season. Joy is a 6-4 forward at O'Fallon High School. He averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game last season, helping the Panthers to a 30-4 record and a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament. Joy also plays for the Southwest Illinois Jets AAU program.

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