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PREVIEW: Women's Basketball Set for Exhibition vs. Illinois Wesleyan

Illinois Wesleyan

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SIUE Cougars (0-0) vs. Illinois Wesleyan (0-0) - Exhibition
Mon., Nov. 5, 7 p.m. CT | Edwardsville, Ill. | Vadalabene Center

TONIGHT'S OPPONENT
• This is the second exhibition game for Illinois Wesleyan. The Titans opened the exhibition season Nov. 1 with an 86-82 loss at Eastern Illinois.
• Maddie Merrott is the team's top returning scorer with 11.9 points per game.
• Illinois Wesleyan is an NCAA Division III institution and is the defending champion of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
• Illinois Wesleyan is coached by former SIUE standout Mia Smith, who scored 880 points for the Cougars from 1982 to 1986.
 
AT THE START
• SIUE begins the season with a school-record 17 players on the roster.
• This is the start of seventh season for SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. She led the Cougars to a Women's Basketball Invitational appearance last season, the second such NCAA Division I postseason tournament appearance for SIUE.
• Coach Buscher's squad features four seniors, three juniors, four sophomore and six freshmen. Eight players, including transfers Alek Akuen and Riana Everidge, will have their first season in a Cougars uniform.
• The Cougars are 28-11 all-time in home openers. SIUE has won its last five home openers and 13 out of the last 15. SIUE defeated Air Force 76-40 in last season's home opener.
• SIUE is 23-15 all-time in season openers. The Cougars' last victory in a home opener was Nov. 13, 2015) when SIUE defeated Northern Illinois 93-67.
• Jay'Nee Alston returns as the team's leading scorer with 6.7 points per game.
Sydney Bauman returns as the team's leading rebounder with 7.1 caroms per game.
• Bauman ranked third in the OVC last season and 43rd nationally with 63 blocked shots. That was an SIUE single-season record. She also broke the career record with 133.
• After SIUE's regular season home opener against Illinois State (Nov. 11), the Cougars are on the road for nine consecutive games from Nov. 14 to Dec. 21.
• SIUE has 12 home contests on the schedule. SIUE's Ohio Valley Conference regular season begins at home Jan. 3 against Southeast Missouri.
• Alston also leads SIUE returners in assists (65) and three-pointers made (36).
• Sophomore Allie Troeckler averaged 13.4 points per game in her last five games. She also is the top returner in steals with 28.
Nakiah Bell is No. 9 all-time in three-pointers made with 106. She is just one of 10 players in school history to have connected on more than 100 three-pointers in a career.
• SIUE ranked No. 23 in the nation last season in free throws attempted (683) and No. 26 nationally in free throws made (483).
• SIUE returns seven players who have scored in double digits for a total of 82 times.
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