Redhawks Host SIU-Edwardsville in Home Exhibition
Nov. 3, 2005
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Thursday, November 3, 2005) The anticipated excitement for the Redhawks women's basketball season starts tomorrow when they officially kick-off the 2005-06 season when they host Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. at the Show Me Center in the first of two home exhibition games. The game is a rematch from last year's exhibition game that saw the Redhawks hold on for a close 69-63 win over the Cougars.
The Redhawks shutdown the Cougars offense last season holding them to only three field goals in the first half while forcing 16 turnovers. The Cougars hurt the Redhawks from the charity stripe as they made 17 free throws in the first half as they kept the game close at the half, 28-23
The second half saw more offense as both team shot over 50-percent from the field and combined to score 81 points. The Redhawks would hold on for the win over the scrappy Cougars.
Four different Redhawk players finished in double-digits in scoring led by Chandra Brown with 13 points. Katrisha Dunn (Dallas, TX/Eastern Oklahoma State College) is the leading returning scorer from last years game with 10 points on 48 shooting including 2-4 from three-point range. Wanika Owsley (Indianapolis, IN/Southeastern Illinois CC) finished with game-highs of eight assists and three steals.
Tatiana Conceicao (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Western Nebraska CC) was held out of the game last season as she recovered from the affects of a concussion that she suffered in the previous exhibition game.
For the Cougars they were led by Alisa Carrillo, who scored a co-game high 13 points on 4-4 shooting from the field and 5-8 shooting from the free throw line.
This season the Redhawks return six letterwinners, all of who saw significant playing time. Among the returnees are three starters in Conceicao, Owsley and Simone Jackson (Kingston, Jamaica/Southeastern Illinois CC).
Dunn, OVC Semifinal hero Tiffanne Ryan (Oklahoma City, OK/Westmoore) and OVC All-Tournament Team selection Natalie Purcell (Auckland, New Zealand/Hutchinson CC) provide veteran leadership and depth that has Head Coach B.J. Smith excited about his chances this season.
The Redhawks welcome eight newcomers who will make an immediate impact and will compete for starting spots and valuable minutes in the rotation.
The Redhawks are in search of their first NCAA Tournament appearance and have been picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Conceicao, last year's OVC Player of the Year, was picked as the preseason OVC Player of the Year.
The Cougars return seven letterwinners including four starters from a team that went 12-18.
The Division II school competes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and is typically one of the top programs in the GLVC.
Junior forward Julianne McMillen returns as the team's leading scorer at 11.3 ppg and rebounder with 5.7 boards per game.
Sophomore Whitney Sykes set school records last season for three-pointers made (70) and attempted (185) last season as a freshman.
A name that might sound familiar to Redhawks fans is Tanya Guell. Guell played for the Redhawks in 2001-02 before suffering a knee injury that cost her the season. She later transferred to SIUE and has flourished as the team's starting center. Against the Redhawks last season she scored eight points in her return to the Show Me Center. Last season Guell averaged 7.1 ppg as the team's starter.
Carrillo averaged 7.0 ppg for the Cougars last season to round-out the Cougar's top returnees.
The Cougars are coached by Wendy Hedberg who enters her 27th season at the helm of the Cougars.
The Redhawks have a record of 18-7 against the Cougars in regular season meetings. In exhibition games the Redhawks own a 3-0 record as this game marks the fourth time in the last five years the team's have met.