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Cougars Set for Second-Half Run

Julianne McMillen

January 24, 2005

         At the midway point in the Great Lakes Valley Conference season, the SIUE women's team sits in the middle of the pack of the league.
         The Cougars have won four of their last five games with a record of 10-9 overall and 5-5 in the conference.
         SIUE will face off against Northern Kentucky and Indianapolis this weekend. The Norse, in Hedberg's words, are "one of hottest team's in the conference." SIUE lost to Northern Kentucky 62-45 on Dec. 11.
         "We struggled early on, and we have changed things since then," said Hedberg. "The kids are playing with a lot more confidence."
         After facing the Norse, the Greyhounds visit the Vadalabene Center. Indianapolis is tied with the Cougars for the sixth spot in the GLVC.
         "They are led by their seniors on the perimeter," said Hedberg. "They are going to be another tough team."
         Freshman Whitney Sykes (Pontoon Beach) scored a career-high 27 points in the win over Kentucky Wesleyan last Saturday. Sykes leads the GLVC in three-point field goal percentage (45.6) and is second in three-point field goals made per contest (2.74).
         "She is playing very well," said Hedberg. "She loves the game. If she is having problems with her shot, she is in the gym working on it. She isn't playing like a freshman right now."
         Sykes needs five three-pointers to break the school record for three-pointers in a season set by Terri Evans during the 1995-96 season.
         Sophomore Juilanne McMillen (Pana) came off the bench to chip in 17 points in the win over the Panthers. McMillen was 5 of 8 from the field and 7 for 7 from the free throw line. She is fourth in the GLVC in field goal percentage at 56.2.
         "She was ready to play," said Hedberg. "She had 31 against them last year. We reminded her of that, and that she could get things done on the court."
         The Cougars have raised their defensive play the past few weeks. They rank third in the GLVC in field goal percentage defense at 40 percent while ranking fourth in the GLVC in scoring defense at 62.8.
         SIUE battles Northern Kentucky on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Then Indianapolis comes to town on Saturday at 1 p.m.
                  -siue cougars-

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