Dec. 21, 2010
Games #14 & 15
SIUE (2-11) vs.
Wed., Dec. 22 1:30 p.m. CT
Las Vegas, Nev.
IBN Las Vegas Classic
vs. The Citadel/South Carolina State
Thurs., Dec. 23 1:30/4 p.m. CT
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS...
All eight teams opened the IBN Sports Las Vegas Classic at campus sites, before traveling to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. SIUE lost at Indiana and Northern Iowa last weekend for the first two games of the tournament. The full schedule for the remainder of the tournament is as follows:
11:30 a.m. - Longwood vs SIU Edwardsville
2 p.m. - SC State vs The Citadel
4:30 p.m. - Indiana vs Northern Iowa
7 p.m. - New Mexico vs Colorado
December 23 - Championship Round
11:30 a.m. - Loser LU/SIUE vs Loser SCSU/TC
2 p.m. - Winner LU/SIUE vs Winner SCSU/TC
4:30 p.m. - Loser IU/UNI vs Loser UNM/UC
7 p.m. - Winner IU/UNI vs Winner UNM/UC
The IBN Sports Las Vegas Classic represents the third consecutive season the Cougars have played in an in-season tournament. SIUE will face Longwood Wednesday before meeting either South Carolina State or The Citadel Thursday.
This week's tournament games mark the third and fourth of six consecutive road games for the Cougars, the longest such stretch of the season. The Cougars travel to Murray State Dec. 30 and then to Ball State Jan. 3. SIUE does not return home until a Jan. 8 game against South Dakota.
After not playing an overtime game since 2008, the Cougars have played overtime twice in their last three home games. SIUE prevailed 77-76 in double overtime over Kennesaw State Dec. 11 after falling at home to Middle Tennessee 73-64 Dec. 4.
SIUE has shot just 34 percent (32-94) over the first two games of the tournament. The Cougars' 17 field goals at Indiana and then 15 at UNI were both season-lows at the time. Their 43 attempts at UNI is also a season-low.
COUNTING ON COREY
Junior point guard Corey Wickware is leading the team in scoring with an average of 11.1 points a game. 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 nine games this year.
Freshman forward Michael Messer has had a successful start to his college career. Messer has made nine starts and has scored in double figures three times this season. He poured in a career-high 24 points in the win over Kennesaw State. He is now fourth in scoring (8.5 ppg) and second in rebounding (3.7 rpg) among regulars. He is second on the team with a .519 field goal percentage.
BIG NUMBERS FOR BUNDALO
Nikola Bundalo was named adidas Athlete of the Week after scoring 17 points vs. Middle Tennessee Dec. 4. Against MacMurray Nov. 20, he recorded his second double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Both career highs. He is fourth on the team in scoring (9.8) and leads in rebounding (5.7).
The senior center has enjoyed a fine career in a Cougar uniform. He is now 31st on the career scoring list with 726 points. His career field goal percentage of .603 is sixth best. He has 89 blocked shots in his career, ranking fourth.
Junior Cornelius Chatt is second on the team in scoring (10.1). He scored a career-high 22 points at Tennessee Tech Dec. 1. Chatt has scored in double figures seven times this year. Chatt is second on the team in field goals (49) and leads in attempts (141).
GET TO THE POINT
SIUE has scored 65 points or less in all 10 losses this season. In six of those losses, the Cougars have scored either 64 or 65 points.
Messer and Chatt are the only two players to have scored at least a field goal in every game.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Eight different players have led the team in scoring this season. Bundalo, Chatt and Wickware have each led the team three times. Eight different players have also led the team in rebounding. Bundalo has led the team seven times. Abel Tillman has led the team in rebounding twice this year.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Six different players have at least three three-pointers this year. Wickware leads the team with 22 followed by Chatt's 19. Chatt also has attempted the most three-pointers (76).
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
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 finish at the Class 4A state tournament. Joy also plays for the Southwest Illinois Jets AAU program.
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 tournament teams (Murray State, Northern Iowa).
MORE ON THE SCHEDULE
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.
STILL MORE SCHEDULE STUFF
SIUE's season schedule includes teams from eight different Division I conferences.
SIUE won its first Division I era tournament last season, claiming the Drake Hy-Vee Classic in December. The Cougars defeated tournament-host Drake in the semifinals before knocking off Texas-Arlington in the championship game.