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PREVIEW: SIUE, Illinois Face Off Saturday

at Illinois

Complete Game Notes

SIUE Cougars (4-3) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2)
Sat., Dec. 15, 6 p.m. CT
Champaign, Ill. | State Farm Center

Live Video: BTN Plus (subscription)
Live Radio: WSIE FM 88.7 (Colin Suhre)
 
TONIGHT'S OPPONENT
• Alex Wittinger leads Illinois with 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
• The Fighting Illini are coming off an 84-52 victory Tuesday over OVC member Murray State.
• Brandi Beasley is ranked 11th nationally in assists with 58.
 
LAST GAME
• SIUE women's basketball never trailed and rolled to an 82-66 victory over Chicago State at the Jacoby Dickens Center. After a quick 4-4 tie, Nakiah Bell hit a three-pointer with 7:38 left in the opening period as SIUE didn't look back. SIUE grabbed 19 steals, the most by a Cougar team since the 2012-13 season, and recorded 37 points off turnovers. Allie Troeckler led four players scoring in double figures with 17 points.
 
OPENING TIP
• This is the 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 needs one victory for 100 at SIUE. She recorded her 300th career victory last season.
• This is the first regular season meeting between SIUE and Illinois. The Cougars have been to Assembly Hall before, dropping a 68-53 exhibition game Nov. 9, 2008, when SIUE was first going through its transition to NCAA Division I status.
• Coach Buscher announced four signees during early signing period. They include 5-9 guard Piper Francis (Mountain View, Missouri), 5-10 guard Tori Handley (Jeffersonville, Indiana), 5-11 forward Mikayla Kinnard (Louisville, Kentucky) and Ajulu Thatha (Indianapolis, Indiana).
• SIUE is 20-0 under Coach Buscher when scoring 80 or more points.
• SIUE is ranked No. 8 nationally in fewest turnovers with 96.
• The Cougars hit a season-high 45.9 percent of their shots against Chicago State.
• SIUE has held five of its seven opponents this season to less than 34 percent shooting from the field.
• Only Sydney Bauman and Allie Troeckler have led the team in rebounding after seven games. Bauman is 46th nationally in rebounds per game (9.9).
• The Cougars are ranked No. 7 nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense (21.4 percent).
• The game against Illinois is the seventh of nine consecutive road games with the Cougars playing away from home Nov. 14-Dec. 21.

 

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