Cougars ready to play at Kansas

News-DemocratNovember 11, 2013 

— The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars continue west on a road trip with a game Wednesday.

The Cougars are heading to Kansas for a 7 p.m. contest at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

SIUE is coming off a 59-48 loss Sunday to Missouri. The Tigers ran their record to 2-0 with the victory over SIUE on Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

SIUE coach Paula Buscher said the difference in the game was offensive rebounds.

"I thought we played hard," Buscher said. "We gave up too many offensive boards, and that made us play defense longer too many times." Missouri grabbed 16 offensive rebounds against SIUE.

The Cougars had much to get excited about in their season opener. SIUE outrebounded the Tigers overall 43-41 and offensively SIUE and Mizzou shot nearly the same from the field with the Cougars hitting 18 of 54 shots (33.3 percent) and the Tigers connecting on 22 of 65 (33.8 percent).

Alyssa Decker was one of three SIUE players in double figures. Despite missing much of the past two seasons with injuries, the Cougar junior matched her career high in minutes played with 31 and finished with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field.

"I'm out there with a great group of girls so that's giving me confidence," said Decker.

Buscher said Decker has been performing strong in practice and played well in SIUE's exhibition win over Lindenwood.

"She is getting more and more confident," Buscher said. "When she gets more confident, she'll play even better."

Tierny Austin led SIUE in scoring with 12 points, and Jessie Wendt added 10 points for the Cougars.

"I felt like we battled but we settled for threes instead of attacking the basket," Buscher said. The Cougars shot just 2 of 21 from three-point range.

Missouri used its bench to create distance offensively. The Tigers amassed 31 points off the bench led by 15 from Morgan Stock. Missouri starter Bri Kulas led all scorers with 16 points.

Buscher said the Cougars handled the Missouri press well with the backcourt of sophomore CoCo Moore and freshman Alexis Chappelle.

"We're going to learn and grow a lot from this game," Buscher said. "I guess one of the positives we can take away from this game is there's a lot of things we can do better."

NOTES: Moore led the Cougars in rebounds with nine. She was one point and on rebound away from her first career double-double. ... that was the fifth time Decker has scored in double figures in her collegiate career. Austin nabbed her 28th double-digit performance. ... SIUE outscored Missouri in the paint 30-24.

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