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PREVIEW: Cougars Host Blue Raider Saturday

Dec. 3, 2010

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Game #9
SIUE (1-7) vs.
Middle Tennessee (3-4)
Sat., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
Vadalabene Center

*Admission is FREE to fans donating two or more care items for the USO*

Live Audio
Live Video
Live Stats

Series Record: MTSU Leads 2-0
Last Meeting: L 83-58 12/13/09 at MTSU
First Meeting: L 80-51 12/07/08 at MTSU
Record at SIUE: 0-0
Record at MTSU: 0-2
Neutral: 0-0
Largest SIUE win: none
Largest MTSU win: 80-51 12/07/08 at MTSU
Current Streak: Lost 2

Middle Tennessee is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Blue Raiders are 3-4 this year, including 0-2 away from Murfreesboro. Senior James Washington (St. Louis) leads the team with a scoring average of 15.9 points a night. Junior Kyle Hunt averages 5.9 rebounds to lead the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee is the only Sun Belt opponent SIUE has faced under Lennox Forrester. All-time SIUE is 0-7 (including Middle Tennessee) against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.

Nikola Bundalo turned in a career night Nov. 20 against MacMurray. Bundalo recorded his second double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Both were career highs. He is second on the team in scoring (11.1) and leads in rebounding (5.9).

Junior point guard Corey Wickware is leading the team in scoring with an average of 12.4 points a night. The transfer from Wabash Community College scored a career-high 25 points in the Cougars' loss at Illinois State. Wickware has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games.

Freshman forward Michael Messer has had a successful start to his college career. Messer has started six of the eight games this season and is fi fth in scoring (7.0 ppg) and third in rebounding (3.3 rpg) among regulars.

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.

The Cougars' senior center has enjoyed a fine career in a Cougar uniform. He is now tied for 36th on the career scoring list with 684 points. His career field goal percentage of .609 is sixth best. He has 84 blocked shots in his career, ranking fourth all-time.

The 2010-2011 season schedule features five games against teams that finished last season in among the top 100 in the RPI. The Cougars play nine games against teams that participated in the 2010 post-season, including facing two NCAA teams (Murray State, Northern Iowa).

Though not officially playing a full conference schedule, SIUE will play nine games against Ohio Valley Conference schools, including six home contests. The Cougars play home-and-home series with OVC opponents Eastern Kentucky, Murray State and Tennessee Tech. UT Martin, Morehead State and Southeast Missouri all play games at the Vadalabene Center this year.

The Cougars will play in a regular season tournament for the third consecutive year. This year SIUE will take part in the Las Vegas Classic December 17-23. SIUE travels to Indiana and Northern Iowa for the first two games of the tournament before heading to Las Vegas for the final two games.

Coach 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 fi nish at the Class 4A state tournament. Joy also plays for the Southwest Illinois Jets AAU program.

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