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Otahkians to play rare game with SIU
As far as Southeast Missouri State University coach Ed Arnzen is concerned, it's about time the Otahkians and Southern Illinois played each other.
The regional institutions have not met in women's basketball for 20 years, but that will change tonight at the Show Me Center as the Otahkians (2-1) and Salukis (1-1) square off.
"I think this is a game that is good for both programs and both universities," said Arnzen. "We're so close to each other, there really is no reason we shouldn't play each other every year. We haven't had this rivalry in a long time and I'm glad to see it resume."
Arnzen, whose squad trails the all-time series with SIU 4-1, believes tonight's game should be a good one for both the players and fans. On paper at least, he regards the squads as fairly equal.
"I think it should be a very good basketball game," Arnzen said. "I know we're going to have our hands full, but we're looking forward to it."
The Salukis, who struggled through a 7-20 season last year, opened the current campaign with an 88-47 loss at Nebraska. But they bounced back Monday to stun St. Louis University 57-53 behind 17 points from senior guard Holly Teague, who hit four free throws in the final 31 seconds to close out the victory.
Teague, a former standout at Poplar Bluff High School and Three Rivers Community College, was the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year last season as she averaged 9.4 points per game and led the Salukis in assists.
"Teague is a local girl who has played on this floor before in high school and I know she's going to be excited to play here," said Arnzen.
"They're coming off a big win, beating St. Louis, and they're going to be riding high. It should be an excellent game."