MW-MVC Challenge Features 'Dogs Visiting Salukis

Nov. 27, 2012

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Game 6 • Fresno State (3-2) at Southern Illinois (3-1)
Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge
Nov. 28, 2012 • 5:05 p.m. PT • SIU Arena - Carbondale, Ill. (8,339)
TV: None • Live Video: • Radio: KMJ 580 AM
Series record: SIU leads 1-0 (NCAA Semifinals - College Div.)
Last Meeting: SIU 93, FS 70 • 1956 • Evansville, Ind. (neutral site)

Bulldog Bones
• This is the second meeting between Fresno State and Southern Illinois and marks the Bulldogs' first appearance in the MW-MVC Challenge.

• With a 3-2 record, Fresno State is off to its best five-game start since starting the 2007-08 season as a winner in three of its first five games.

• Bulldogs' junior point guard Allen Huddleston has scored 13 or more points in each of the past four games.

• Bulldogs' senior forward Kevin Foster has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in three of Fresno State's five games this season.

• This season, the 'Dogs have allowed an average of 3.6 3-pointers/game.

• Under Rodney Terry, Fresno State owns a +109 steal margin by averaging 7.0 steals per game and a +2.9 steal advantage per contest over 38 games.

• Under Rodney Terry, Fresno State has committed fewer turnovers than or the same number of turnovers as its opponents in 34 of 38 games.

MW-MVC Challenge Features 'Dogs Visiting Salukis
Fresno State (3-2) plays its first Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge contest by visiting Southern Illinois (3-1) on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on KMJ 580 AM and online (audio feed) at (subscription required). A live video feed will be available at (subscription required).

Bulldogs Begin Mountain West Era
• This season, MW teams are 39-8 in non-conference games, with four of the eight losses coming to opponents ranked in the Top 25 (as of Nov. 26).
Fresno State is in its first season as a member of the Mountain West, which produced four NCAA Tournament teams last year. The MW features three teams ranked in the AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls (No. 25/23 New Mexico, No. 24/20 UNLV, and No. 23/21 San Diego State) as well Colorado State receiving votes in both national polls.

About the Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois is 3-1, with wins over New Orleans (72-55), Benedictine University-Springfield (100-62) and SIUE (71-55), and a loss at Saint Louis (61-51). SIU is led by Jeff Early (19.3 ppg/8.8 rpg/2.5 spg/1.8 apg).

Against Southern Illinois (SIU leads 1-0)
Fresno State and Southern Illinois have met just once back in 1956 when the Salukis defeated the Bulldogs 93-70 during the semifinals of the NCAA College Division Championships at a neutral site in Evansville, Ind.

MW Debut, Holiday Mini-Plans on Sale
With the Fresno State men's basketball team off to a fast start on the hardwood, Bulldog fans have two new options to experience the up-tempo and tenacious defense at the Save Mart Center by purchasing the Holiday Gift Package and Mountain West Debut mini-plans.

The Holiday Gift Package starts as low as $35 and includes Fresno State's three games versus San Diego Christian (Dec. 6), UC Irvine (Dec. 15) and Sonoma State (Dec. 30), as well as the Bulldogs' Dec. 12 showdown versus No. 23 Colorado for free.

With Fresno State in its debut season in the Mountain West, the Mountain West Mini-Plan starts as low as $85 and includes the Bulldogs' five home games versus No. 25/25 San Diego State (Jan. 9), Wyoming (Jan. 16), Nevada (Jan. 19), Colorado State (Jan. 26) and New Mexico (Feb. 13), along with the Bulldogs' Feb. 6 game against No. 18/18 UNLV for free.

The only way to guarantee access to these Mountain West contests is to purchase the MW Mini-Plan, as single-game tickets to MW conference home games are not currently on sale.

Terry Turns Up the Pressure, Exploits Takeaways
The relentless defensive pressure that Terry expects from his squad has held opponents to just 39.4 percent shooting (99-of-251) from the field and 24.3 percent 3-point shooting (18-of-74). Fresno State has also forced an average of 13.8 turnovers per game (69 total). In their season opener at then-No. 24 Texas, the Bulldogs turned 13 Texas turnovers into 16 points.

Valuing the Basketball
One of Rodney Terry's points of emphasis is the importance of valuing the basketball. Since Terry's arrival, Fresno State has not committed more turnovers than its opponents in 34 of 38 games, including 29 of those 38 games where the 'Dogs made fewer turnovers than its opponents.

Olekaibe Continues to Climb Record Books
Junior Kevin Olekaibe currently ranks 34th on Fresno State's all-time scoring list with 968 career points in 67 games. He also ranks tied for seventh in 3-point field goal attempts (467) and ninth in 3-point field goals made (154). Olekaibe owns the seventh-best career free throw clip (78.8%).