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PREVIEW: Cougars Host Murray State Wednesday

Jan. 25, 2011

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SIUE (5-17) vs.
Murray State (13-6)
Wed., Jan. 26, 7 p.m.
Vadalabene Center

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TONIGHT'S OPPONENT
Murray State is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Racers have won three of their last four games. They are currently 13-6. The Racers are led by sophomore Isaiah Canaan who averages 11.3 points per game. Junior Ivan Aska leads the team with 5.4 rebounds per game.

VERSUS THE OVC
The Cougars are 1-11 against Ohio Valley Conference opponents under Head Coach Lennox Forrester. The lone win came December 31, 2008-a 70-69 win at Southeast Missouri. This year the Cougars are 0-5 against Ohio Valley teams, with losses to Murray State, EKU twice, Morehead State and UT Martin.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Cougars have seven games remaining including tonight. Six of those games are at home. This comes after SIUE played 14 of its first 21 games on the road.

FREE BASKETBALL
After not playing an overtime game since 2008, the Cougars played overtime in three straight home games this season. The Cougars won Jan. 8 over South Dakota 94-85. SIUE also prevailed over Kennesaw State 77-76 on Dec. 11. The Cougars fell at home to Middle Tennessee 73-64 on Dec. 4.

TOURNAMENT CHAMPS
The Cougars won the Upper Division Championship at the IBN Las Vegas Classic Dec. 22 and 23 after finishing with a pair of wins at the Orleans Arena. SIUE defeated Longwood and The Citadel en route to the title.

GET TO THE POINT
SIUE scored a season-high 94 points in the win over South Dakota. This came after scoring a season-low 46 points in each of its previous two games.

COUNTING ON COREY
Junior point guard Corey Wickware continues to lead the team in scoring with an average of 12.1 points a game. The transfer from Wabash Community College scored a career-high 26 points Jan. 8 against South Dakota. It was his third 20+ point effort this season. Wickware has scored in double figures in 16 games this year. He has led the team in scoring a team-best seven times.

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

BIG NUMBERS FOR BUNDALO
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 third on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg) and leads in rebounding (5.8 rpg).

BUNDALO'S CAREER
The senior center has enjoyed a fine career in a Cougar uniform. He is now 24th on the career scoring list with 804 points. His career field goal percentage of .594 is sixth best. He has 95 blocked shots in his career, ranking fourth.

SIXTH MAN
Senior Cody Rincker has started three games recently after coming off the bench to start the season. He was named the Independent (no conference affiliation) Sixth Man of the Week by statsheet.com 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. Rincker added eight points against The Citadel, including a key three-pointer with less than a minute to play. He had a career-high five steals against South Dakota.

NICE DEBUT
Freshman forward Michael Messer has had a successful start to his college career. He has made 18 starts this season, which is second-most on the team. Messer poured in a career-high 24 points in the win over Kennesaw State. He is now fourth in scoring (8.2 ppg) and second in rebounding (3.3 rpg) among regulars. He is second on the team with a .496 field goal percentage (64-129).

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

HOW MAY I ASSIST YOU
Kevin Stineman tied his career best with six assists against South Dakota. He leads the team with 62 assists, an average of 2.8 a game.

CHITT CHATT
Junior Cornelius Chatt is now second on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg). He scored a career-best 25 at Northwestern. Chatt has scored in 20 or more points four times this year. He leads the team in field goal attempts (226).

SHARING THE WEALTH
Nine different players have led the team in scoring this season. Wickware has led the team seven times. Chatt has led the team six times. Eight different players have led the team in rebounding. Bundalo has led the team 11 times. Dob Mavrak has led the team in rebounding four times.

FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Five different players have at least 10 three-pointers this year. Wickware leads the team with 44 followed by Chatt's 33. Wickware also has attempted the most three-pointers (119).

MISSING THE MARK
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.

SIGN `EM UP 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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